Frederick Francis Gehrling, aged 95, of Floral Park, NY, died early Wednesday (6 Oct2021) morning, surrounded by family, after a brief illness. Born on 4 February 1926, he had a long, full, and happy life. He was the youngest of 3 children, born and raised in Woodhaven, Queens. He was educated in Catholic schools, graduating from St. Johns Preparatory Academy.
He served his country during World War II in the 64th Armored Infantry Battalion, 16th Armored Division. He participated at the liberation of Pilsen, Czech Republic. Upon returning home, he enrolled in St. John’s University, in Queens, NY under the GI Bill where he earned a Bachelor Degree in Social Studies. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Education from NYU.
Fred met Marion Estelle Steinmetz at St. John’s and they were married on June 10th 1950. Together they had 6 children whom they raised in Floral Park. They remained married, for 56 years, until Marion died in 2006. Marion had MS and Fred was devoted to her care as her health gradually declined. One his last jobs after retiring from teaching for 35 years was working for Pan American Airlines, in their world port at JFK. He was able to arrange three interesting and successful trips on Pan Am to Europe with his wife Marion, in spite of her increasing health challenges. In their travels, Fred was always on the look-out for scenic venues to photograph and later paint in oils or water colors.
Mr. Gehrling was a Teacher for the NYC Public School System. He taught various elementary and Junior High grades and finishing his career teaching English at Springfield Gardens High School. He also taught English at night school at Erasmus in Brooklyn. Here, he had many students for whom English was a second language and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Mr. Gehrling was much loved and respected by his students and colleagues.
Fred had a multitude of interests and hobbies. When they bought the house in Floral Park, he made improvements to it that included expanding the kitchen with a bay window, painting, and re-wiring some rooms. He and his wife hosted card and dinner parties. They enjoyed entertaining their friends and extended families. He played golf at Eisenhower Park and other public courses and was an avid bowler, playing in two different leagues. For many years he owned the 31ft sail boat, The Sorceress. With Fred at the helm, he provided his family with many adventures from Glen Cove to Martha’s Vinyard. Fred was a voracious reader and was a frequent patron of the Floral Park Public Library. He most enjoyed murder mysteries. He was also a very good dancer. He loved music. Fred could not read music but if you hummed him a tune, he could quickly learn the song and played it on his harmonica or their piano and he of course had a beautiful baritone voice.
Mr. Gehrling’s participation in the lives of his Children included serving as a Scout Leader, attending Summer Camp at Onteora for four years as an adult leader and on outings of all sorts. He coached some of his Children’s sports teams. Mr. Gehrling was a member of the Sewanhaka Power Squadron and attained the Navigator rating. Fred always found a way to give back; he was the Sewanhaka Power Squadron’s terrestrial and celestial navigation instructor for years. He often invited students to Jones beach so they could use sextants to shoot the stars. He also participated in many sail boat races organized by his Hempstead Harbor YC, including four Around Long Island Regattas.
Fred was a beloved neighbor. He could often be seen sitting on the back deck, reading. If you spoke to him, he would always look up and pass the time of day with you. He could converse on nearly any subject. He was friendly and kind. He loved babies, children, and especially dogs.
Mr. Gehrling is pre-deceased by his Brother, Edmund, his Father, Frank Gehrling; his Mother, Anna (Kirschenheiter) Gehrling; his Sons Peter and Thomas; his Wife Marion (Steinmetz) Gehrling; his Sister, Betty (Gehrling) Miller; his beloved Son-In-Law, Dan Warnock; and the majority of his cohort of friends.
Fred is survived by four of his children, Francis Gehrling of Floral Park and his wife Bridget of Oakland, Maine, Patricia Warnock and her sons, Ian and Harry, of Baldwin; Michael Gehrling and his wife, Georgia of Plainview; and Matthew Gehrling and his wife Madonna and their daughter, Erika of Smithtown.
Fred is also survived by his other adult Grandsons, Frederick T. Gehrling and his Daughter Tallulah (great granddaughter of Fred), of Norfolk, Virginia; George Gehrling and his wife Kirsti and Fred’s Great Grandson, Conrad of Waterville, Maine; and Henry Gehrling, of Oakland, Maine.
Visitation hours will be on Tuesday, Oct 12th from 5pm-8pm at Dalton’s in Floral Park.
Internment will take place at the National Cemetery at Pinelawn in Melville, NY on Wednesday, Oct 13th at 10AM.
In lieu of flowers, donation's in Frederick's memory can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
To send flowers to Frederick's family, please visit our floral store.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256