Edwards Funeral Home

201 North 12th Street, Fort Smith, AR


Stephen Christian Gerard

February 8, 1939December 9, 2019

Stephen Christian Gerard, age 80, previously from Ft. Wayne, Indiana, died peacefully in his home in Ft. Smith, Arkansas on Monday, December 9, 2019 from complications from CLL (Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia).

Steve was born on February 8, 1939 in Morgantown, West Virginia, to Christian Ezra and Clara Elizabeth Gerard. He had an idyllic childhood growing up on Murphy Avenue in Steubenville, Ohio, where he was a member of his neighborhood Murphy Mice Gang and a proud alumni of Steubenville Big Red High School. He graduated from Ohio University where he was known as “The Visitor.” Steve married the love of his life, Dedra Kay Thompson in 1980. They lived for over 35 years in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and have owned Sheets Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, Inc. for over 25 years. Steve and Dedra retired to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, last year. Steve was a die-hard Buckeye fan and celebrated their recent win against Michigan and their current number one ranking. Along with the Buckeyes, Steve loved cars of all kinds, but especially Fords. He owned two hot rods, a 1923 T-bucket, and a 1950 Ford that he and his son, Christian, rebuilt together. He was a member of the Ft. Wayne Street Rod Association and made a trip of a lifetime down the iconic Route 66 in their 1950 Ford. His children and grandchildren have been educated on the superiority of the HEMI engine and will never forget his deep voice making his favorite motor sound, “Ooodnana.” Steve also loved to travel and visited several locations in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Steve is survived by his wife, Dedra, his daughters, Elizabeth Gerard of Pocatello, Idaho, and Stephanie (Ryan) Rowlands of Panama City, Panama, his son, Christian (Heather) Gerard of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and five grandchildren, Samantha, Kai, Silas, Heulwen, and Ansel.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will take place in Wisconsin during the summer of 2020. He will be interred in East Lemonweir Lutheran Church Cemetery.

Donations can be made online in memory of Steve to the Ft. Smith Mercy Health Foundation with the “gift designation” of “Mercy Hospice.”


Stephen Christian Gerard

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Bill Townsend

December 14, 2019

Farewell good friend!! We'll see you on the other side some day. Since I didn't have a car at Big Red, Steve was often my driver to proms, Coe's Drive-in and hangouts in The Ville in his green '48 Desoto and later a black '51 Ford convertible. Switch on Porky Chedwick and cue up Chuck Berry's Maybellene "Cadillac a-rollin' on the open road, but nothin' outrun my V8 Ford". Hugs and comfort to DeeDee...

Yvonne Habowski

December 14, 2019

The earth was a better place with Steve here and I am sure that heaven has welcomed him with open arms.

I remember laughing with Steve when I suggested he drive one of his cars to Steubenville. He told me that it would get dirty and he couldn't have that. I told him I would gladly drive his car through the car wash. That didn't go over so well.

I fondly remember Dee Dee and Steve driving to Steubenville ( in the Jeep) to watch a Big Red - Massillion football. One of the few times that Big Red won. We were all very happy.

Big Red's class of '57 was proud to have Steve as a member and quickly adopted DeeDee.