Jonathan Andrew Gerda, 27, of West Mifflin, was released from his earthly ties on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Jonathan had many names, Jon or Gerda to most, Cabbage to some, Jon Jon to a few, but most importantly he was known as Daddy to his son, Nicholas Louis Opat.
Jon is the beautiful son of Michael B. Gerda of Van Meter and Sam and Amanda (Houseman) Pecora of Belle Vernon, the loving fiancé of Nicole A. Dankis of West Mifflin, the amazing brother of Elizabeth R. Gerda, Michael BP Gerda and Justin S. (Joy) Pecora, the wonderful grandson of Betty R. and the late Paul E. Houseman, Agnes M. and the late Joe Wirbicki, the late Michael Gerda, Caroline A. Dankis and Fran McBride, and the fun loving uncle of Tyler and Zoe, the terrific nephew of many aunts and uncles, and crazy cousin to dozens.
Jon was born July 31, 1990 in Belle Vernon. He attended Belle Vernon Area High School and graduated from All State Career School when he began his career as a truck driver.
Jon loved spending time with Nicole and Nick, swimming, going to the movies and the zoo. He loved fishing with his dad and brother, as well as kayaking with his family. He also enjoyed trying to learn to hunt with his Uncle Al when he was 12, but gave it up after falling asleep in the woods and getting stuck for hours in a tree stand. Family is very important to Jon. Getting together for holiday dinners at his Mom’s, Nana’s, Mum Mum’s, Aunt Bea’s and Steve and Kim Dankis’ homes were his absolute favorite times. The house would just come alive when Jonathan walked in (late as usual). As those close to Jonathan know, he refused to be defined by his struggles. He’d wake up every morning and fight his battle by bringing smiles to everyone with his infectious laughter, his corny jokes and by being there as a counsellor and a great friend to many. Jonathan will also be greatly missed by his entire family, including many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, especially his cousins, Kayla, Bill and Todd, and by Nick’s mommy, Elizabeth. We, his family and many friends take great comfort in knowing Jonathan was born again, a Christian, saved by his acceptance of God’s grace and the gift of His Son. John 3:16 . Friends are welcome Monday, November 27 from 5- 8 pm and Tuesday, November 28 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at the Gilbert Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. 6028 Smithfield Street, Boston, Elizabeth Township. (412) 751-5000 Drew J. Gilbert, Director. Service will be held in the funeral home chapel on Wednesday, November 29 at 10:00 am. Condolences may be made at Gilbertfuneralhomeandcrematory.com
Originally published November 26, 2017.