The city of Excelsior Springs grew one family greater in the fall of 1999, with the addition of Bob and Marilyn Gerdes. Now, after 13 years and countless hours of volunteer work within the community, Bob is retiring as Director of the Good Samaritan Center.
When the Gerdes’ located themselves in Excelsior, the couple operated the Sears retail store, which was formerly located in the previous Anytime Fitness building. After several years, Gerdes decided he wanted to give retirement a try, but his dear friend and personal investor Carolyn Schutte gave him a better idea.
“She (Carolyn) told me that I was too young to retire,” chuckled Gerdes. “Instead she said I should do something positive, get involved with the community and start giving back, which was exactly what I had in mind.” Schutte referred Gerdes to an open position at the Good Samaritan Center, where he began his tenure as director of the center in 2006.
Selflessly, Gerdes explained how much the center means to him, “There are a tremendous amount of volunteer opportunities within our community. The beautiful thing about working at the GSC is all of the people we have helped. Everyone that I have worked with, they are all dedicated to providing help to families. It has been exhilarating knowing that I got to play a part in helping keep families together.”
As a retiree, Gerdes has no plans to change his involvement in any of the numerous organizations he is active in.
“I will still be active in the Rotary, Optimist Club and the Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “But, I have to say that probably my absolute favorite thing to do is to sing in my church choir.”
A man of faith, Gerdes is a member of the Barbee Memorial Presbyterian Church. “It’s just a good feeling at the end of the day when you are worn out to just praise God for your family and what you have,” he said.
Gerdes will pass the torch as director at the center June 30 to fellow good Samaritan Anna Hayes.
A retirement party for Gerdes will be held at 4 p.m., Monday, June 4 in the lower great hall of the Good Samaritan Center.
By Jae Juarez • email@example.com