Nov. 10, 1948 — June 20, 2014
Michael (Mike) Gherardi, 65, passed away on Tuesday, June 10, 2014, after a long battle with kidney failure and congestive heart failure. Mike, a first-generation Italian, was born in Vallejo, Calif. He was a resident of El Dorado County for 34 years — the last eight in Cameron Park. His most enjoyable time was the 20 years in Georgetown, followed by five years in Pollock Pines.
Mike was an Army veteran, serving tours in both Vietnam and Germany. After the war, he returned to Vallejo. Eventually he moved to Alameda, working as an electronics mechanic on missile guidance systems at Alameda Naval Air Station. He was still employed at ANAS when he and his wife, Terry, moved to Georgetown. He and a fellow employee who had a plane flew to work everyday, offering some very interesting experiences, including the passenger door flying open mid-air and landing with no brakes on the Georgetown Airport runway.
Eventually, Mike left his government job. Later, he joined Terry in the operation of their newspaper, the Divide Harvester. They soon found themselves photographing and reporting anything from wildland fires and murders to human interest stories and community events, as well as the county political scene. Both felt that this offered them a better opportunity than most for a better understanding and appreciation of the area. Mike also had a real love for the history of the county. Mining had been an interest for most of his life. But after reading about the Pino Grande Railroad, he soon began studying railroad history, collecting trains and building small scale scenery depicting those earlier days on the Divide. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post No. 9241.
Mike is survived by his wife, Terry; daughter, Kerry; brother, James Gherardi of Vallejo; nieces, Patricia Bologna of Rocklin and Cynthia Chavez of Sacramento; and many great-nieces and -nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Gherardi.
The last nine years, Mike spent three days a week at Davita Dialysis Center in Cameron Park, developing close and special friendships with many of the staff. One stated, “Mike was one of our favorites who we considered family. He was always so entertaining and we are really going to miss him.” Since his passing, the same that has been expressed so often by Mike’s many longtime friends and loved ones.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that remembrances be made to the National Kidney Foundation or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Memorial services will be announced at a later date.