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Robert E. Evans Funeral Home

16000 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD

OBITUARY

Gerard Francis Waldorf

October 3, 1932October 17, 2019
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DR. GERARD 'GERRY' F. WALDORF, of Glenn Dale, MD, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2019 at 87 years old. Born in New York City to an educator mother, Mary, and entrepreneur father, Christopher, Gerry was a true renaissance man. As a young man, Gerry attended seminary in upstate New York and Maryland. He was educated at Fordham Prep, Fordham University, and was awarded two master’s degrees, and later his PhD in Sociology, from City University of New York. He studied Spanish in Salamanca, Spain. As a scholar, Gerry taught Latin and Greek in a high school in New York State, and also taught at Vassar College and St. Peter’s College in New Jersey. For the last thirty years of his life, he taught for the University of Maryland, and abroad. Gerry was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1963. He ministered at a variety of parishes in New York. As a sociologist, community was very important to him. Gerry worked to bring diverse communities closer together, connecting them through outreach to impoverished and marginalized groups. He also travelled throughout South America. Returning to New York, Gerry served at St. Rita’s in the South Bronx, ministering to a mostly Puerto Rican and African American congregation, as well as to youths in Long Island. It was during this exciting time that he met his wife, Sonia. After leaving the Jesuits, Gerry married Sonia, and pursued his passion as an educator. They took off for Europe, where Gerry taught sociology courses at U.S. military bases in Germany, Spain, Italy, and Holland. They also welcomed the birth of their son, Kevin, while abroad. Upon returning to the States in 1978, the Waldorfs made Maryland their home. Gerry continued teaching at the University of Maryland University College, leading sociology courses with a focus on social justice, religion, race, ethnic minorities, class, and gender. Gerry always prepared for each course with new materials, no matter how many times he had taught it previously. His personal library at home brought him great joy. He would spend hours reading everything from philosophy and religion to the classics. Gerry also sold real estate, where his personable approach left a lasting impression on clients. He especially enjoyed his role as a proud father who instilled in Kevin the importance of service to the community. Gerry’s favorite hobbies were photography, woodworking, and nature. He had a darkroom at home where he developed his own black and white pictures. He loved swimming and chopping wood. Known for his sense of humor and making people laugh everywhere he went, including the supermarket cashiers, Gerry was an adventurer at heart, a constant learner, an advocate for social justice, and an eternal, humble optimist. Gerry is survived by his wife, Sonia, and son, Kevin. He was preceded in death by his twin sister, Mary, and older brother, Christopher. He will be missed dearly.

Services

  • Memorial Gathering Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Memorial Gathering Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, October 26, 2019

Memories

Gerard Francis Waldorf

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Marie, Dhyan, Jay Emmanuel

October 24, 2019

We are very sorry to hear his passing. We have been neighbors for many years. We remember his generosity— helping with our house repair and garden; giving advice for home maintenance; shoveling snow, and so on. We will miss him. Sonia, please accept our condolences with flowers. Let us know if you need help. May you carry on in peace.
The Emmanuel family.

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Biography

DR. GERARD 'GERRY' F. WALDORF, of Glenn Dale, MD, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2019 at 87 years old. Born in New York City to an educator mother, Mary, and entrepreneur father, Christopher, Gerry was a true renaissance man.

As a young man, Gerry attended seminary in upstate New York and Maryland. He was educated at Fordham Prep, Fordham University, and was awarded two master’s degrees, and later his PhD in Sociology, from City University of New York. He studied Spanish in Salamanca, Spain. As a scholar, Gerry taught Latin and Greek in a high school in New York State, and also taught at Vassar College and St. Peter’s College in New Jersey. For the last thirty years of his life, he taught for the University of Maryland, and abroad.

Gerry was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1963. He ministered at a variety of parishes in New York. As a sociologist, community was very important to him. Gerry worked to bring diverse communities closer together, connecting them through outreach to impoverished and marginalized groups. He also travelled throughout South America. Returning to New York, Gerry served at St. Rita’s in the South Bronx, ministering to a mostly Puerto Rican and African American congregation, as well as to youths in Long Island. It was during this exciting time that he met his wife, Sonia.

After leaving the Jesuits, Gerry married Sonia, and pursued his passion as an educator. They took off for Europe, where Gerry taught sociology courses at U.S. military bases in Germany, Spain, Italy, and Holland. They also welcomed the birth of their son, Kevin, while abroad.

Upon returning to the States in 1978, the Waldorfs made Maryland their home. Gerry continued teaching at the University of Maryland University College, leading sociology courses with a focus on social justice, religion, race, ethnic minorities, class, and gender. Gerry always prepared for each course with new materials, no matter how many times he had taught it previously. His personal library at home brought him great joy. He would spend hours reading everything from philosophy and religion to the classics. Gerry also sold real estate, where his personable approach left a lasting impression on clients. He especially enjoyed his role as a proud father who instilled in Kevin the importance of service to the community.

Gerry’s favorite hobbies were photography, woodworking, and nature. He had a darkroom at home where he developed his own black and white pictures. He loved swimming and chopping wood. Known for his sense of humor and making people laugh everywhere he went, including the supermarket cashiers, Gerry was an adventurer at heart, a constant learner, an advocate for social justice, and an eternal, humble optimist.

Gerry is survived by his wife, Sonia, and son, Kevin. He was preceded in death by his twin sister, Mary, and older brother, Christopher.

He will be missed dearly.