Mary Elizabeth Gerhardt, age 88, of Cambridge passed away January 7, 2008 at Grandview Christian Home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 12th at Calvary Baptist Church in Cambridge. A visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday and also from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. on Friday, January 11th at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel. Interment will be in Cambridge Union Cemetery.
Mary Elizabeth “Mae” Jackson Gerhardt went home to be with her Lord on Monday, January 7th at Grandview Christian Home in Cambridge, Minnesota at the age of 88 years, 6 months and 5 days. She was born on July 2, 1919 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the oldest child of immigrant parents Philip Jackson, Sr. and Florence McFarland Jackson, who came here from what is now Northern Ireland.
When Mary was about two and one-half years old a doctor told her mother, that they need to move out of Philadelphia to New Jersey if they wanted her to live. Her parents followed the doctor’s advice and moved to Camden County, New Jersey, where she grew to adulthood.
Mary graduated from the Merchantville High School in Merchantville, New Jersey and from the Philadelphia School of the Bible, now Philadelphia Bible College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She worked in the main office of the American Stores, now Acme Markets, where one of the owners had employed her mother as his housekeeper after she came to America. Later in life she told her son Alfred that she wished that she had talked to him about her mother working for him, while she was working in the office.
Mary married Alfred Carl Paul Gerhardt at her parent’s home in Delaware Township, now Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey on the evening of Friday, March 13, 1942. To this union were born three sons Alfred Carl Paul, Jr., David Philip and his wife Peggy and John Thomas and his wife Ellen.
In July 1950 Alfred and Mary and their two oldest sons Alfred and David moved to Martin, South Dakota where they served as missionaries among the Lakota Sioux Indians on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation until December 2002, when they moved to an assisted living center in Cambridge, Minnesota. They also started a Baptist Church in Gordon, Nebraska in 1972. They had been commissioned as missionaries by the Haddon Heights Baptist Church in Haddon Heights, New Jersey and served under the Fellowship of Baptists for Home Missions during the early years of their missionary work.
In addition to her husband and sons Mary is survived by two grandsons and seven granddaughters, 12 great-grandsons, eight great-granddaughters, a brother S. Thomas and his wife Frieda Jackson of Pennsauken, New Jersey, a sister Anna and her husband Rev. Elzie Unroe of Noblesville, Indiana, a sister-in-law Lillian Jackson of Pennsauken, New Jersey, five nephews, nine nieces and several grandnephews and grandnieces.
In addition to her parents Mary was preceded in death by two brothers Philip Jackson, Jr. and William Robert Jackson, a sister Florence Lenher and a great-grandson.