CAPTAIN WAYNE WALTER GERSTENBERGER, SC, USN
NOVEMBER 29, 1934 - DECEMBER 9, 2020
Resident of Antioch
Wayne Walter Gerstenberger passed away on December 9, 2020. Wayne was born November 29, 1934, Thanksgiving Day, in Lawrence, Kansas to parents Mary Elsie and Walter William Gerstenberger. Wayne was the eldest of two surviving children and grew up on a farm south of Eudora, Kansas that is still farmed today by the sons of his sister, Sylvia Neis. During his early years, Wayne attended Hesper Rural Grade School, a one-room school house. After 6th grade he attended Eudora Elementary and High School where he was active in basketball, football and track.
On June 9, 1956, Wayne married high school sweetheart, Charlene Vitt of Eudora, Kansas, upon his graduation from the University of Kansas. The couple departed that afternoon on a journey that would take them to 17 homes in many states, in Japan, and in the Canadian Province of Newfoundland during the next 27 years as Wayne pursued his career as an officer in the United States Navy. Facing yet another move with three kids in high school in the East Bay and one away at college in Kansas, Wayne stepped away from the Navy holding the rank of Captain in the Supply Corp, and started an equally lengthy career working in management for the San Francisco Municipal Railway.
Wayne will be remembered as an intelligent, thoughtful and endearing person with a stealthy sense of humor. He absolutely loved Kansas Jayhawk Basketball and it is quite possible he never missed watching a single game during his lifetime. In his free time, he loved working on home improvement projects, photography, listening to Louis Armstrong and enjoying a good meal. While Wayne and Charlene lived a relatively simple life they did get to enjoy traveling stateside and overseas.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his grandson Otto. He is survived by his three sons Terry, Daryl, Eric and daughter Jill Gerstenberger and their families, as well as his eight grandchildren Calen, Kara, Austin, Oscar, Gina, Fred, Walter, and Lawrance and their families.
Wayne will be laid to rest at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery on December 22, 2020, with immediate family members in attendance. There will be a celebration of life at some later date, after California’s Covid restrictions subside.
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