Gerhardt H. Pareigat
August 3, 1926 – September 3, 2021
Gerhardt H. Pareigat, 95, of Vadnais Heights, MN went to his heavenly home on September 3, 2021. He is survived by his wife, Joyce Baltz; daughter Monica (Dean) Held; son Thomas (Kim) Pareigat; grandchildren Andrea (Corey) Robideau, Jonathan (Katie) Held, David Held, Lauren (Khoi) Dao, Marissa Pareigat; 6 great-grandchildren and many extended relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his first wife, Clara, in 2006.
Gerhardt was born in Tilsit, East Prussia on August 3, 1926. He was drafted into the German army at age 17, fought briefly on front lines and was captured by U.S. forces in March, 1945. He spent 2 years as a U.S. prisoner of war, doing hard labor in a coal mine in France. After his release he settled in Coburg, Germany. He received training in optics at Carl Zeiss AG in Oberkochen, Germany. In 1951 he married Clara Hochhalter and they immigrated to Chicago, IL in 1953. He attended night school for 3 years to learn the English language and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1956. While he was proud of his German heritage, he was even prouder to be an American.
Gerhardt worked as an optical engineer for 3M Company for his entire 35-year career in the United States: first in Chicago, IL, then in Rochester, NY and finally at 3M’s headquarters in Maplewood, MN until his retirement in 1987. Gerhardt enjoyed many years in Hugo, MN where he enjoyed country living on a small 20-acre hobby farm. He loved German shepherd dogs, horses and tinkering in his yard and pole barns. He moved to Vadnais Heights, MN in 1998. He was a devoted husband and father, and committed to his Christian faith through active service at First Baptist Church of White Bear Lake, now Eagle Brook Church. Gerhardt leaves a legacy of faith in Christ, a generous spirit, and a servant’s heart. For nearly 10 years he provided in-home care for his wife, Clara as she battled dementia until she went to heaven in 2006. In 2010 he married long-time friend Joyce Baltz. He considered it a blessing to have another season of companionship and joy in his life.
A Celebration of Life Service will be on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Eagle Brook Church, White Bear Campus, 2401 Buffalo Street, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. Visitation with the family will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to READ Ministries, 203 Cooper Avenue N., Suite 350, St. Cloud, MN 56303 (www.readministries.org).