1940 — 2013
Bob was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 26, 1940 he passed Aug. 18, 2013 at home in Tehachapi with his family and closest friends at his side.
Bob was the oldest of three brothers and was married to his wife Carolyn on November 6, 1960 in Glendale.
He was the father of two daughters; Lorie Lodrup and Debbie Gerdl and was G’pa to Bryan Gerdl and Roslyn Chaplin, Lorie and Chris Lodrup of Golden Hills, Debbie Gerdl of Culver City, Bryan Gerdl of Bakersfield and Roslyn Chaplin of Boston, Mass.
Bob and Carolyn raised their family in Mar Vista with Bob working for Redman Mayflower in West L.A. starting in 1963. Among his customers were Tony Bennet, Mrs. Howard Hughes, Gene Barry, Florence Henderson and Jack Palance.
Bob enjoyed his work being in a different place each day and working with different people and in late 1978, the couple became a truck driving team for Mayflower Van Lines. They drove to every state in the union except Maine and Alaska.
Bob and Carol were the primary team for Epson America trade shows in the U.S., delivering computer equipment to the U.S. Treasury in Washington D.C. placing it inside the third vault during a major garbage union strike. They also hauled time sensitive shipments for IBM and were part of a huge move of the Boy Scouts of America from New Jersey to Grapevine, Texas — a move that took six weeks.
Bob handled his customers with kid gloves enjoying the interaction most of the time. Bob had a way of making everyone feel like they had known him for a long time and got the respect of all his co-workers.
Often his daughters would fly to be with their dad and ride in the big truck visiting, laughing and seeing the country.
When Lorie’s son Bryan was six-weeks-old they joined dad and mom for a three-week ride all across America. Debbie could be seen being picked up by dad at an airport holding a fresh apple pie she had baked for her dad.
In 1981, Bob and Carol moved to Tehachapi’s Brite Valley. The only friends they had were Junie and Alice Mueller of Cummings Valley. Bob and Junie would enjoy fishing at Convict and Rock Creek Lakes. They would be seen driving out of town in Junie's 1967 blue El Camino.
By 1987, Bob had bought the El Camino from Junie and enjoyed driving it until it could not pass the smog test.
They started their business in 1984 , by the request of the community.
Solveig Thompson called Carol one evening saying she had clients that had an involved move and would we be interested. The answer was yes and soon others were calling for moving services.
Next was opening a business of which another customer said you should call your company Carefree as when Bob came into my house I knew I did’t have a concern everything would be handled properly.
Bob made some very good friends. Every time one customer would see a Carefree truck in Bear Valley, she would appear with fresh baked cookies.
Bob enjoyed horseback riding from Brite Valley to Junie's house in Cummings Valley. He raised beef cattle, two at a time. Horses, pigs, turkeys, guinea hens, chickens, lambs, Mastiff, Aussie’s dogs and little Katy (Jack Russell) have all been part of Bob’s loves as well as his family and close friends.
Bob so loved his home and yard that when asked if he wanted to go on vacation he would reply I went to Mojave just the other week. Bob enjoyed vegetable gardening, fishing, camping, dirt street bikes as a younger man, his grandchildren, casinos, the El Camino and life.
Really he said near the end of his life he’d do things the same.
When Bob was diagnosed with COPD about seven years ago he retired and he and daughter Debbie took some road trips. Lorie also took a trip with him.
In 2010, we encouraged Bob to have the old El Camino refurbished by a friend. He enjoyed seeing the progress. It took a couple years, but it was completed just in time for him to drive it a few times. He was very proud of the car.
The car was entered in the Mountain Festival Thunder on the Mountain Car Show, so a friend of the family took it for Bob. Bob passed about 6:15 a.m. Sunday morning and his El Camino took first place for it’s class. It was emotional for friends that knew of his passing.
Bob had the help of Gentiva Hospice from April 2013, until his passing Aug. 18, 2013.
Bob will be greatly missed by all he touched and loved.
There will be a community celebration of life for Bob Gerdl at Brite Lake Sept. 28, 2013, starting at 1 p.m. Enjoy a BBQ, live music and good friends as well as some classic cars. RSVP for BBQ guests by Sept. 16, 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-625-4969.