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Cordell William Gehling
October 24, 1936 ~ December 31, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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Cordell William Gehling, affectionately known as Walt, was born on October 24, 1936 in Patzau, Wisconsin. Cordell passed away unexpectedly on December 31, 2023 in Citrus Heights, California at the age of 87.
Cordell was preceded in death by his parents Joseph B. and Clara M. Gehling, his wife Mary C. Bersamin and his stepson Richard C. Bersamin. He is survived by his younger sister Hester M. Gehling; and by marriage, the following stepchildren: Katy, Rose, Tony, Mary, and Joanne; step-grandchildren: Jennifer, Christopher, Anthony, David, Alex and Jason; step-great-grandchildren: Jomel, Jerrick, Faith and Natalia; and stepchildren-in-law: Steven, William, David, and Amanda.
At age 20, Cordell joined the United States Air Force in 1957 and served our country with pride and distinction for over 20 years. He attained the rank of Senior Master Sergeant with specialties as Administrative Superintendent and Legal Services Superintendent.
For his second distinguished career, utilizing his legal background, Cordell joined the Superior Court of San Francisco. There, he developed strong professional and personal relationships with his clerks and the entire court family. Cordell retired as Courtroom Clerk Supervisor in June 2000.
Mary and Cordell’s love of travel was how they fortuitously met in the Bahamas in 1970. Their friendship blossomed throughout the years; marrying as best-friends in June 2016. By car, airplane, or cruise ship, "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson epitomized their passion of exploring the world together or with family and friends. They equally enjoyed domestic travel excursions and exotic destinations.
Cordell was an avid reader and a master of crossword puzzles. While Mary painted, he would delve into these favorite pastimes. Whether they were singing duets, joking around, playing Gin Rummy or just sitting together quietly, they conveyed their special bond of love. Mary and Cordell regarded each other as their angel on earth. The younger Cordell enjoyed jogging, but later in life he immensely enjoyed long summer walks in the hot sun in Lake California, where he and his wife had a wonderful lakefront vacation home. They referred to this getaway as their Heaven on Earth.
Cordell and Mary loved the art and teamwork of cooking together. Often prepping days in advance of family celebrations; their efforts always resulting in glorious feasts and joy-filled times. They also loved to dine out; Chevys restaurant being one of Cordell’s favorites and both savored the grilled Dungeness crab sandwiches at Nick’s Seafood Restaurant in Pacifica, CA.
Cordell had an intense passion for cars and as a hobby, would disassemble, repair and put them back together with great satisfaction and accomplishment. When it came to vintage cars, he could name any make or model. Modestly growing up on a farm with no running water, he acquired numerous skills that allowed him to proficiently tackle varied family projects ranging from carpentry, electrical, plumbing and more. Cordell also loved baseball and he and Tony relished numerous San Francisco Giants games at PacBell Park. Hester said her brother always held a baseball in his hand during his childhood years.
Cordell was an exceptionally loving, caring, honorable, and humble man. Without hesitation, he was the first in line to help out any family member or friend. He had a gentle and loving heart and is deeply missed. The wonderful times we shared with Cordell are forever cherished memories. Please join Cordell's Celebration of Life services on Friday, February 16, 2024 at 11 am at Saint Gabriel Roman Catholic Church, 2559 40th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116; followed by Mary and Cordell's inurnment at Holy Cross Cemetery at 2 pm, 1500 Mission Road, Colma, CA 94014. A reception will be held at Peking Restaurant, 1375 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA 94122 beginning at 3:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Disabled American Veterans. Thank you!