Mel Gerrard passed away on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. He was born in Covina, California in 1928. After high school he served with the U.S. Army in Japan. Later, he attended UCLA then transferred to and graduated from USC with a business degree. He loved cars and had two cars featured in Hot Rod Magazine. He was a surfer and often surfed at Dana Point and Doheny Beach. He worked in the grocery business, then a gas station, and eventually bought a Texaco station. He met Carol at Hollywood Presbyterian Church and got married. He sold the gas station and opened a tune-up shop.
While working at the tune-up shop, one of his customers, Ernie Carlson, challenged him to do something with his Christian Faith. Mel took this to heart and began asking God what to do with his time. He began teaching Bible classes at the Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility and started sharing how to have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus. He later went to real estate school and into real estate sales.
He and Carol had three boys, Guy, Andy and Kerry. Eventually they moved to Yucca Valley, the high desert. He sold more real estate and developed two mobile home parks. He was the Youth Group Leader at Evangelical Free Church.
He taught himself how to speak Spanish to teach Spanish speakers how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. He began going on mission trips to Mexico with a friend Wilfred Slayton, one of The Wayside Harvesters founders.
They sold the parks, moved to Palm Springs and went into property management. Here he became more involved with Wayside Harvesters by writing several gospel booklets, including a booklet on how to know if you are going to heaven or not. This booklet is called “Know Your Future”.
Mel organized many gospel outreaches in fairs in California and told anyone who would listen how to have a relationship with Jesus.
A Celebration of Life service is scheduled at 1 p.m. on September 23 at The Bridge Calvary Chapel in Cathedral City. In lieu of flowers, send donations to Wayside Harvesters (P.O. Box 4307, Palm Springs, CA 92263).
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: desertsun.com/obituaries//?#You can find the complete original obituary on this website.