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Obituary: Joseph Rudolf Gebhart

Joseph Rudolf Gebhart

Joseph Rudolf “Rudy” Gebhart, 96, of Port Washington, passed away peacefully at his home of 71 years on June 1, 2011. Rudy was born to Martin and Aline Gebhart on a farm in western New Jersey on Jan 6, 1915. He had a younger sister, Gertrude. Rudy spent much of his youth in Great Neck, where his father was employed as an estate gardener. Rudy enjoyed the “country life” with his childhood friends, and worked hard during the summers in the local marinas, scraping barnacles and maintaining the yachts.

After graduating from Great Neck High School in 1933, Rudy worked as a radio installer at Great Neck Motors while he attended RCA Institute in New York City, from which he received a degree in electronics. Rudy met his wife to be, Ethel Catherine Steinle, at a roller rink. They were married on Sept. 7, 1940, and spent 69 beautiful years together until Ethel’s passing in 2009.

During WWII Rudy worked at defense contractor, Sperry Corp., and following the war joined NBC TV network, where he was employed until 1981 as an electronic engineer. In addition to his hard work, dedication and significant contributions to the development of broadcast TV technology, Rudy drew special satisfaction from mentoring young people, many of them disadvantaged, into the trade.

Rudy is survived by his five children, Ellen (John) Weingart of Kentfield, CA, Lorri Erion of Hernando, FL, Kristin (Casey) Ryan of Santa Fe, NM, Neil (Maureen) Gebhart of Madison, WI, and Curt Gebhart of Woodside, NY; eight grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. Rudy was a kind and caring father and will be deeply missed by his children. Rudy has requested that his wish for no funeral or memorial service be respected. He will be interred privately.