Click HERE to view Graveside Services for Dewey Gerrard\r\nThursday, May 28, 2020 at 10:00 am \r\n\r\nOn May 24, 2020, Dewey Gerrard as we all know and love, closed his final flight plan from life. Surrounded by his wife of over 60 years and his loved ones. He was dispatched for a new eternal flight plan that he has been diligently planning for his whole life. His new assignment as he called it, to his lovely wife, Kay is to prepare a place for their rather large family in heaven.\r\n\r\nOne of our favorite stories as a family is when Dewey first met Kay. At Plymouth Elementary in Taylorsville, Utah in Mrs. Munk’s 1st grade class. Dewey was making a sand castle in the back of the school during recess when Kay and her friend Sheri came up and knocked it over. Dewey got mad and threw sand in their eyes, their faces and their hair. And guess what he got to do? He got to meet Kay, her mother (Granny Bennion) and the principal all in one day. Not to mention that he got to stand in the corner while Kay went home to clean up. When she came back and saw Duane (as she still calls him to this day) still standing in the corner, she went up and asked Mrs. Munk if he could please sit down, as she was alright now. From that day on, he knew she was the girl for him, and she’s been keeping him out of trouble ever since.\r\n\r\nWhen he was in High School, he had a football coach that the boys nicknamed “Nosey Edwards”. If you’re a BYU fan, which he is not, you may have heard of him. In fact, they might have named the stadium after him. LaVell Edwards may have been, one of his many mentors that prepared him for his numerous callings in life. But his father, taught him how to pray, something that he would do daily for the rest of his life, with humble thought. As a student at Utah State, one evening he was anxious to get back to school, and after giving a short and meaningless prayer from his family home, his father decided to give him one the most important teaching moments of his life. His father grabbed him by the shoulders and turned to him and said, “Son, do you pray every night and every morning”? Dewey replied, “Just about, whenever there is a test, an athletic event or if I’m sick”. His father looked him straight in the eyes and said “Son, promise me that you will pray night and morning on your knees, out loud and thank the Lord for the many blessings you have, and plead with him to direct your life, and to direct you in the path of righteousness”. He promised him he would and gave him a brief hug. That was a defining moment in his life because that week his father died and those were the last words that he heard from his father’s mortal lips. How great it is that he is seeing his father, mother, brothers and sister again.\r\n\r\nAt Utah State, he joined the ROTC and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, where he made lifetime friends that we have all known and loved our whole lives. Not to mention a few colorful songs, that shall not be referenced. He graduated in June 1960 with a BS degree in Aeronautics.\r\n\r\nAfter graduating, he was commissioned 2nd Lt. USAF. On the way to training in Bartow, Florida, Dewey and his now eight-month pregnant bride, Kay drove cross country in a VW beetle that could barely do the speed limit with no air conditioning. He then was based in Vance AFB, Oklahoma and graduated in 1961. He also was assigned to the 50th Air Transport Squadron, Hickam AFB, Hawaii 1961-1964. During this time, he flew various flights in the Pacific, Asia, Vietnam, and Europe with over 350 combat hours to support the war effort.\r\n\r\nIn 1967 he joined Western Airlines, which to this day in our eyes is “The only way to fly”. He was promoted to Captain in 1978 and became an Instructor Check Airman in 1979, Project Pilot for the Boeing 767, Chief Pilot Salt Lake City 1982, Vice President of Flight Operations, Western Airlines, and in 1983 Chief Flight Instructor for Delta Airlines. In 1991 he became the Chief of Flight Safety for Delta Airlines. And one of the happiest days of his life, he retired in 1997.\r\n\r\nWhile Dewey managed a successful career with the airlines, he also held numerous callings within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, that included Bishop for the newly organized Kaysville 12th Ward, and Stake President for the Kaysville Crestwood Stake.\r\n\r\nUpon landing, for his final flight at the Salt Lake City airport, with two of his son’s in the cockpit, he walked out of the gate only to find some of the Brethren of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who were patiently waiting for him for his new and exciting assignment, General Authority. We still remember the day that Elder Faust sat our mother and father down in his office and asked if our mother has ever been to the Philippines. Her response was “no, and I don’t care to go”. Needless to say, when a member of the 12 speaks to you, people listen. During their Farewell speech, our mother gave the strongest testimony we’ve heard, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded”. Missing their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, they spent 4 wonderful years in the Philippines. The next big assignment was to be the Temple President in the Dallas Temple. A calling which we believe was one of their favorites.\r\n\r\nDuring a successful career and all of the callings in the Church, they managed to raise 8 children. Leslie (Doug) Wach, Brad (Marilyn) Gerrard, Mike (Adrian) Gerrard, Jeff (Sharry) Gerrard, Julie (George) Hyde, Michelle (Steve) Bodon, Rebecca (Darren) Frandsen, Jennifer (Mike) Hamblin. They also fostered 3 native American girls. If you can imagine, they have 29 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren to date, and all are doing well and blessed to be in such a large and loving family created by Duane and Kay.\r\n\r\nDewey has many accolades and associations that we would like to acknowledge:\r\n\r\n•\tChairman of the Board of Advisories, Aerospace Department Utah State University\r\n•\tBoard of Advisors Embry Riddle University\r\n•\tMember of International Society of Air Safety Investigators\r\n•\tAir Transport Association\r\n•\tFlight Systems Interrogation Committee\r\n•\tAdjunct Professor Aviation Law, Utah State University\r\n•\tMember Board of Advisors, US Blood Donors.org\r\n\r\nAs our father was closing his flight plan from life, and battling Cancer and a massive stroke, our family was fortunate enough to bring him home for his last few days. This was his last wish, to come home to Kaysvilla farms and be surrounded by family. He received the best care anyone could ask for from his family but especially his granddaughters from his three sons that so tenderly cared for him through the days and long nights. This time with our husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather is and will be some of the most sacred and special times we will ever remember. It brought us closer as a family, it brought us happiness and understanding and made us feel more Christ like. What a wonderful gift that we will never forget and cherish forever.\r\n\r\nWe will miss his broad shoulders, his resounding voice, but most of all, we will all miss his stories.\r\n\r\nThe family would love for all of you to share your stories about Duane B. Gerrard. This would give us as a family a way to commemorate the life and love that he has shown to all of us.\r\n\r\nIn lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to Utah Foster Care, Utah State Aeronautics program or USBloodDonors.org.