Father Harry Gerdes
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Harry Gerdes will be celebrated March 4 at St. Joseph Church, North Bend, with Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presiding. Father Gerdes, 79, died Feb. 26 at Bayley Place in Delhi Township.
Father Gerdes was born in Cincinnati. He did his preparatory studies at St. Gregory Seminary and studied theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. He was ordained on Dec. 22, 1962, at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains by Archbishop Karl J. Alter.
He received his first assignment on June 3, 1963 as an assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Dayton, a teacher at St. Joseph Commercial School, Dayton, and assistant director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). In June 1969, he was appointed co-pastor of Resurrection Parish in Dayton, serving with Father Edward Conlon. On June 17, 1971, he was appointed to summer assistance at St. Aloysius Parish, Shandon, and then on Aug, 26, 1971, he was appointed assistant at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Dayton.
Father Gerdes became assistant pastor at St. Lawrence Parish, Price Hill, in June 1972; assistant at St. Mary Parish, Hyde Park, in March 1976; and assistant at St. Martin of Tours Parish, Cheviot, in January 1977. He served as pastor of the following parishes: Our Lady of Grace, Price Hill (1979-1987); St. Matthew, Norwood (1990-1994); and St. Joseph, North Bend (1994-2003). From 1987 to 1990, he was co-pastor, of Sacred Heart Parish, Fairfield, serving with Father John Wall.
During his years of ministry, he also served as chaplain of the Dominicanettes in Dayton, the Dayton Fire Department, the City Workhouse, the Catholic Widows and Widowers Club, and the Archbishop Purcell Council No. 2798, Knights of Columbus. Father Gerdes was also director of the Dayton Office of the Youth Department of the archdiocese. He retired in May 2003.
Father Gerdes is survived by his sister, Martha Thompson, and brother, Corwin. Interment was in St. Joseph (New) Cemetery in Cincinnati.