Donald “Doc” Gerner

Gerner pic

Donald J. “Doc” Gerner passed away August 21, 2016 at Spring Winds Assisted Living of Laramie, Wyoming in the company of his family.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Della Gerner, his daughter, Cindy Hoobler, his son, Bob Gerner, his step-daughter, Debbie Bastian, his step-son, Timothy McColley, his grandchildren, Jillian Nightingale, Jancy Nightingale, Dax Robinson, Jennifer Robinson, Mary Robinson, Mary Britton Clark, Lacey Phillips, and Payton McColley, and six great grandchildren, Landon Robinson, Broden Robinson, Illiah Pfau, Tripp Phillips, Aila Clark, and Auden Clark.

“Doc” was born November 5, 1926 in Dorchester, Nebraska to Edward and Marie Gerner.  He grew up on a farm near Dorchester.  Doc served in the United States Army during World War II.  He was stationed in the Philippines.  After the war, Doc served with U.S. Army intelligence.  Doc then received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry, and he later completed his Doctor of Dentistry Science at the University Nebraska, in Lincoln.  Upon completion of his D.D.S., Doc started his dental practice in Kimball, Nebraska.  Doc practiced in Kimball for over 40 years. During the 1950s Doc served in the Nebraska Army National Guard. Doc also was a member of the Masons. Doc and Mary served the youth of Kimball in their retirement as mentors. Doc was a long-time member of the Pine Bluffs Baptist Church. During his membership Doc served as a Deacon, taught Sunday school, was involved in children’s church and served in the nursery.

Doc’s passion for aviation led him to become an FAA registered private pilot, and he later built his own single place aircraft.   Doc was a long-time member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.  His labor of love for many years was serving on the Kimball Airport Board and tinkering on his planes.  Because of his dedication and service to the Kimball Airport, the flight center was renamed the “Don and Mary Gerner Flight Center” in October of 2015.  In his later years, you could often find Doc at the airport with his buddy Riley.

Memorial services will be held at the Crossoads (formerly Pine Bluffs Baptist) Church in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming at 2:00 pm, Saturday, August 27 with a graveside service at the Pine Bluffs Cemetery to follow.


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Condolences (12)

  • Shaun Brothers

    Doc Gerner was my dentist growing up. He also taught me how to fly R/C airplanes. I was always in awe of his skill and knowledge of aviation. Such a patient man! I have very vivid memories of him flying by our house in Dix in his "Volksplane". He was one of a kind.

  • John and Roberta Marquardt

    I had known and flown with Doc for many years. I really enjoyed visiting with Doc about all things airplanes and airports. I especially enjoyed laughing with him at the dentist office.

  • Kim (Christian) O'Connor

    Cindy and Bob, Jillian and Jancy, we are so sorry for your loss of your father and grandfather. As my uncle, I remember his infectious laugh at family dinners and always working on his plane. Sympthy to Mary and her family, though I've not met.

  • Stephen Malm

    Doc was my first Dentist and I always enjoyed getting a balsa glider after a 'day in the chair'.... Later, Don became part of the family when he and Mary connected - Bud, Evelyn & the rest of the clan were proud of Mary's 'catch'. We had many, many, fun times with Don 'in the mix'. Doc was always fun to joke with and his skill as a pilot, dentist, and RC aircraft builder will always be the memories I have and hold of Don.... Don was a part of that 'Great Generation' and it always showed - he had a poise and presence that you had to admire and wanted some to rub off. I'll miss my friend and one of our true champions.

  • Jim McIrvin

    I owe a big debt of gratitude for Doc's patience and mentoring me, learning to fly RC airplanes, when I was in high years later, thanks in part to his sharing and his mentoring, I have been in military and professional aviation my entire career. Godspeed Doc.

  • Carol

    Mary, Debbie, Tim and Family, I am so sorry to hearing about Don's passing. I have been thinking about you Mary and praying for you. " Mary, Debbie, Tim, and Family I am sorry for your loss of Loved One, Donald "Doc" Gerner. "Words convey so little when hearts feel so much... I wish there were deeper way to express my sympathy at this time of sorrow" My prayers will be with as you go through this time of grief. I think about you often. Love, Carol Cook.

  • Beth Jones

    I'm so sorry to hear of Don's passing. May God comfort you, Mary Della. I wish I could be there for the services. You are all in my prayers. Beth Jones

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry for your loss. I spoke with Don frequently via phone. Don & Mary were always a pleasure to talk with. It didn't take long before we learned that we shared a common love not only for aviation but our four-legged friends. May God's love comfort you in the days and weeks ahead and the many memories surround you and ease the pain. Marcy Meyer, NE Department of Aeronautics

  • Bob Arraj

    Thank you Don for being a second father to me my whole life. You taught me love ,laughter and just a general love for life. You were there for me many times during my life and my love for you will never die. I guess it's time for you and my dad to get out to the flying field and put and aircraft in the air. Happy Flying gentlemen. God's Speed D.J.

  • Becky Romig

    Mary Della, I am sorry to hear about Don. I was stunned when I found out. Let GOD'S love comfort you along with family. You are in my prayers daily. Just remember Mary when Don got to Heaven and saw my Mom she said; "Welcome Brother " I am very thankful for all the two of you did for her. Love you, Becky Romig

  • Lesia (Kirk) Tiemann

    I am so sorry for your loss. Dr Gerner was an awesome guy and I really enjoyed working for him all four years of high school. He will forever be in your heart and memories.

  • Anonymous

    Debbie, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray God will wrap His comforting arms around all of you. Nancy Kern


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