Delbert ‘Del’ Herve Gerbaz
July 13, 2005
Longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident Delbert “Del” Herve Gerbaz died at his home in Glenwood Springs on Sunday, July 10. He was 86 years old.Del was born March 30, 1919, to Auzel Herve Gerbaz and Clonia Ree Corbin in Denver. Auzel’s parents, Jeremy Joseph and Cecile Mary Gerbaz, were early settlers of the Roaring Fork Valley who emigrated from Valle d’Aosta, Italy, in the 1890s. Del attended schools in Indiana and graduated from Owensburg High School in Owensburg, Ind., in 1936. He was valedictorian of his high school graduating class. He continued his education as a mechanical engineering major with an emphasis in aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While at college, he earned his pilot’s license and did aerobatics.
In 1941, Del began his career as an aeronautical engineer in flight instrumentation with Consolidated Vultee in San Diego. Later he worked in Los Angeles and Fort Worth, Texas. Consolidated Vultee later became Convair/General Dynamics.Del’s career in aerospace spanned almost 30 years. He was on the design team for the Experimental B-36 and the B-36, America’s first intercontinental bomber. He was also involved with the early day space program as an engineer for the Centaur and Atlas missiles. Following his aviation career, Del worked for Aspen Skiing Corp. on Lift 6 from 1971 to 1984.
Del was interested in the history of the Colorado Midland Railroad. He was an avid photographer and contributed many photos for books on Colorado railroading. He also owned the Colorado Midland business car, the Cascade “100,” which he partially restored. The Cascade is now displayed in a Las Vegas hotel.Del married Janie Lowe on Aug. 3, 1945, in Fort Worth. Janie and Del were married for almost 60 years. The couple were planning their 60th wedding anniversary at the time of Del’s passing. He enjoyed gardening, beekeeping, recycling, skiing, biking, hiking and letter writing. He regularly swam at the Glenwood Springs Hot Pool and enjoyed the camaraderie of other swimmers. He was actively involved in church activities, serving as a deacon, trustee, usher and Sunday school teacher. Until recently, he was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Glenwood Springs. He also did bell ringing during many Christmas seasons for the Salvation Army.
He is survived by his spouse, Janie, of Glenwood Springs. Other survivors include his son, Larry Gerbaz and spouse Molly of Carbondale; daughter Janice Gerbaz Gilbert and spouse Barry of Sugar Land, Texas; and daughter Maria Cecile Callier of Denver. Surviving grandchildren include Heidi Gerbaz, Jeremy Gerbaz, Leslie Gerbaz, Christine Gilbert, Carissa Gilbert, Jordan Callier and Jessie Vormann; and half-sister Kathy Teele of Kerrville, Texas.Visitation will be Thursday, July 14, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Farnum Holt Mortuary, 405 W. Seventh in Glenwood. Services are scheduled for Friday, July 15, at 10 a.m. at Mountain View Church at 2195 County Road 154 in Glenwood Springs. Pastor Dave Pearson will officiate. Graveside services and interment will follow at Red Butte Cemetery in Aspen.In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to: Feed My Sheep Ministry, P.O. Box 842, New Castle, CO 81647. Feed My Sheep, a God-centered interfaith ministry in Glenwood Springs, is a drop-in center where homeless people can get a shower, light breakfast and lunch. The ministry provides a way of helping homeless people get on their feet by giving them warm family-type relationships and practical help.