Sunday, August 9, 2015

Alonzo J. Gerner - Sunday's Obituary

Alonzo J. Gerner is the twin of Alfonzo F. Gerner.  The following obituary was published on page 11 of the October 22, 1940, issue of the Butler Eagle.

Alonzo J. Gerner         
     Alonzo J. Gerner, aged 66, well-
known oil producer of Fairview, died
in the Presbyterian hospital, Pitts-
burgh, at 10 o'clock Monday morn-
     Mr. Gerner was born in West
Virginia, son of Mrs. Elvira and the
late Frederick K. Gerner.  He re-
moved with his parents to the Bruin
district when a small child and had
resided in the Bruin and Petrolia
districts since that time.
     Surviving are his widow, Lulu
Smith Gerner; a son, Ernest of
Bruin; two daughters, Mrs. Carl
Eppinger of New Bedford, O., and
Aline Gerner of Battle Creek, Mich.;
six grandchildren; his mother, Mrs.
Elvira Gerner of Struthers, O.; four
brothers, Paul of Bruin, Fawn of
Petrolia, John of New Middletown,
O., and Warren of Bessemer and
six sisters, Mrs. Charles Fletcher and
Mrs. Alma Kitch of Bruin, Mrs.
Lane Snare of Steubenville, O., Mrs.
R. E. Davis of Niles, O., Mrs. Fred
Holland, Struthers, O., and Mrs.
Mabel Double of Erie.
     He was a member of the Bruin
Methodist church.
     The body was removed to the
family residence in Fairview until
9 o'clock Thursday morning when
the body will be taken to the Knox
Funeral home in Bruin.
     Funeral services will be held from
the Knox Funeral Home in Bruin
at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon
with the Rev. E. W. Byers of Pitts-
burgh, the Rev. A. J. Rinker of Erie
and the Rev. H. H. Thompson of
the Bruin Methodist church, offi-
ciating.  Burial will be in the Bear
Creek cemetery.

The newspaper doesn't state Alonzo's death date but a page from a family Bible notes it as October 14, 1940.  At first I wasn't sure the newspaper had the correct information (or maybe it was the Bible that was wrong) but when calculated based on publication date, day of death and day of funeral it is October 14.  (The newspaper was published on Tuesday, October 22.  Since the burial took place on Thursday and he died on Monday morning, the date of death could only be October 14.

I have been unable to locate a Pennsylvania death certificate with either a name and death year search or by browsing the October, 1940, death certificates.

Alonzo's mother's maiden name is Bartley, which, surprisingly, wasn't stated in the obituary.

Alonzo, like his brother, Alfonzo, was married more than once.  He and his first wife are the parents of the children named in the obituary.


Copyright © 2009-2015 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Hi, Nancy,
    Check this one out:

    1. Thank you for sending the link to Alonzo's death certificate. Undisciplined family historian that I am, I found an image on my computer yesterday which I hadn't added to my gen. program or printed for my paper files.

      It's an interesting challenge to see that the death certificate notes his date of death as October 21 and family records note the 14th. I think I should give the death certificate more credit in this case. And rereading the obituary with the information that his death was on Monday, October 21, makes the obituary clearer.

      Thank you so much for providing the direct link to the obituary, Michael. I appreciate that.

  2. You're welcome,

    PS, I know the feeling. Forehead, meet palm, palm, forehead.


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