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In Memory

Lyle Gerard (Teacher)


Lyle D. Gerard

Lyle D. Gerard, born December 16, 1924 in Duluth, MN died there 94 years later on December 16, 2018. Lyle was a kind and generous man who had a powerful positive impact on many lives. He was known as "Grandpa Lyle" in Lutsen, MN where he lived for 33 years. Lyle's life was characterized by a love of books and reading that began almost as soon as he learned to read. In elementary school, he told the librarian that he wanted to read "all the books in the world". He served in combat in France and Belgium in WWII. After he returned, he obtained an undergraduate degree from Macalester College and a Master's degree from the University of Minnesota. He served as an English teacher at St. Louis Park High School for many years, and subsequently as an English as a Second Language teacher. After retiring, he continued his vocation reading to children in schools along the North Shore from Tofte to Grand Portage. He had a strong interest in internationalism and loved to travel. He spent a year teaching in The Netherlands and another teaching in Japan, and was an avid promoter of foreign language learning, particularly through immersion. Lyle's love of running was second only to his love of reading; he was a star runner of the mile in college. He downhill skied until he could no longer do that and switched to cross-country. When he could no longer run, he walked. He exercised every single day until the final heart attack that felled him while walking in Hartley Park. Lyle enjoyed a 57-year marriage to Joan (nee Bisbee Woolsey) and cared for her after she was stricken with Alzheimer's until her death in 2007. His sister Roberta Jarvinen died just a few weeks before Lyle. Survivors include brother Mike (Rose) and three daughters and five grandchildren: Poldi (Thor Olson; sons Attiss, Shal and Hoan Ngo); April (Gary Larson; children Nick and Heather Gerard-Larson); Megheen Jahren (Craig; son Matthew) and special friend Dorothy Bergman. Celebrations of Lyle's life will be held in Duluth and in Lutsen in Spring-Summer 2019. Memorial contributions are welcome to the Frank DiMaio Educational Innovation Fund c/o Cook County Kids Plus, PO Box 63, Grand Marais, MN 55604 or to the Grand Marais Public Library.