Gerhardt Wassermann (sponsored obituary)
The piano sits silent and the walls run with tears…however, his songs and music live forever and his voice lingers in the air.
A beautiful soul left its body September 9th at the San Javier Hospital in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After an extraordinary three days of vibrancy and joy, he succumbed to a raging infection in his blood stream that was lurking there unknown. Until the last hour of his life, he believed that he would live.
The walls of his home in Puerto Vallarta are filled with canvasses of paintings in which he chronicled his courageous battle with leukemia.
He died peacefully with the love of his life by his side, as they held hands and moved on to yet another dimension of their extraordinary relationship of twenty years – more in love than ever.
Born in Regensburg, Germany, Gerhardt lived an extraordinary and full life. Coming from a musical family, he played piano at three years of age and sang with his father, Heinrich, at many venues while growing up. He went to the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music, on an opera scholarship while supplementing his income as a baritone soloist in churches and as a musical instrument refurbisher.
He performed at Carnegie Hall when he was seventeen.
Although he did not pursue music as a formal career because of an unexpected marriage and child at an early age, he continued to sing in choirs, clubs, and for a short time was a member of the famous Russian men’s chorus, Slavianka.
He owned and operated restaurants in New York and when he left the business world it was as a Director of International Operations for Dunkin Donuts.
After moving to San Francisco in 1990, he met his wife, Alexandra, for whom he composed many song, and a classical CD, titled When Saturn Returns, which was released in 1999. Although the work was not a financial success, it achieved enough sales at Borders and other music stores that he felt he achieved what he intended — to have his music heard by people with discriminating taste.
During this period of time, he owned and operated a wine store, The Market on Nob Hill, with his son by marriage, Jeffrey Williams. Jeff and Gerhardt worked shoulder to shoulder in this endeavor for 10 years.
In 2005 Gerhardt and Alexandra moved to Nevada City, CA. Here they found the life and community they had been searching for. Gerhardt immediately became involved in music starting with his membership in the Grass Valley Men’s Choir. The Choir provided Gerhardt with a musical home and the friendship of men and two women whom he genuinely loved and admired.
And now, he waits for his wife, Alexandra, and leaves in sorrow their small family – Jeff, Max, Diva and Baby.
He leaves in mourning his brother, Ed Wassermann, sons Jesse and Pax Wassermann, and the Colont, Chybinski, and Okinczyc families.
He leaves in grief – his family of the Grass Valley Men’s Choir, the Peace Lutheran Church, his many, many interesting and varied friends in Nevada City, San Francisco, and Puerto Vallarta – and his fellow singer and special amigo – Jack Pascoe.
He leaves behind many completed classical musical scores, jazz and gospel pieces along with a substantial number of works in progress. His latest music included two CDs that have been recorded but wait to be mixed and published.
A Memorial will be held at his home in Nevada City. Date and time will be published later.
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