American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

William F. Gerber, 1915-1996

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997



Bill Gerber of Denver died in October, 1996. He had suffered a stroke the year before, not long after a rock climbing 80th birthday party. His family and friends were distressed to see the decline of a man who had always been so vital and lively. He is survived by his three children and a brother.

Born and raised in Middletown, Ohio, Bill had spent a teenage year in Hungary where his father, a doctor, was studying. There he learned skiing, climbing, and particularly fencing— activities he pursued with relish all his life. After graduating from Harvard, the University of Arkansas Medical School, and the Neurological Institute at McGill University, he settled in Denver and practiced neurology and neurosurgery for more than 40 years. He was a member of numerous medical societies and a large number of mountaineering, skiing, and fencing organizations. He had been captain of the Harvard fencing team and was a gold medalist in the Senior Olympics in this demanding sport. He joined the AAC in 1976.

Bill was small and wiry, a strong and careful climber who loved to teach and encourage beginners. Eager to do more than his share of camp chores, his sense of the ridiculous added to the campfire fun. He was great company on any kind of excursion to the mountains. It is not surprising that his patients had a great fondness for him, as did his sporting buddies, for he was a gentle, caring doctor and a quiet, loyal friend to everybody whose life he touched.

Andy Black

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