Charles Bud Gervig '43


Charles Marzolf "Bud" Gervig, 91, of Waco, passed away on April 27 after a brief illness.

Bud was born August 31, 1921 in Alton, Illinois, the son of Philip M. and Cornelia Spoeneman Gervig. He attended school in Alton through junior high then moved to Belleville, Illinois, where he graduated from high school. In his senior year, he was the first person to be named to all three of the Illinois all-state football teams. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from The University of Illinois in 1943. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. Being in the R.O.T.C. Cadet Corps, upon graduation he was immediately sent to Officers Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

After completing O.C.S., and being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, he married his college sweetheart, Joan Crist, on June 10, 1944, in Danville, Illinois. Shortly thereafter he was sent to the European War Theater as a replacement officer in the Field Artillery. He then volunteered to join the 90th Glider Airborne Field Artillery Division. Soon thereafter this unit was called into the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. On January 9, 1945, he was wounded in action and was awarded the Purple Heart. He spent eighteen months in Crile General Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, recovering from his injuries. After the war he settled in Danville, Illinois, working for General Electric. In 1955, he and his family moved to Waco, Texas, and he started Systems Service, Inc., a data processing and bookkeeping business which he operated for 43 years.

Bud was an active member of Austin Avenue United Methodist Church having served as chairman of the Administrative Board, Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Finance Committee, Trustees, Council of Ministries, and as a church Lay Leader. He originally taught Sunday school at the high school level, and has taught various adult classes for over fifty years. He has been a faithful Rotarian and since his retirement in 1998, he has been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Throughout his life he has enjoyed his tennis, golf and pitch games, and boating and skiing on the lake with his family and friends.

He has served as President of the Waco Symphony Association, the Friends of the Library Board, the Lighthouse for the Blind, and the Data Processing Association. In the year 2000, he was selected to serve as King of the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant. He was a loyal Blue Lodge Mason and a Scottish Rite Mason for over 65 years, serving as degree master for the 4th degree in Scottish Rite for over 10 years, and was elevated to 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary in October, 2001.

Bud is preceded in death by his parents, two infant sons, John Charles and James Otto, and a sister, Phyllis Hecker, of St. Louis, Missouri.

He was the proud father of three children, Susan Joan Taylor of Waco, Mark Philip Gervig and wife, Lynda of Raleigh, North Carolina and Ann Marie Mitchell and husband, Jeff of Lorena. He has eight grandchildren, Joan Felton and husband, Mark, David Charles Taylor and wife, Meghan, Melissa Gervig, Mark Philip Gervig, Jr. and wife, Taneia, Lauren and Rachel Gervig, and Brian Charles and Brady Crist Mitchell and wife, Hillary. He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Thomas Charles 'Boots' and Taylor Felton, Riley and Alyssa Widener, Erik Charles, Devon and Ariana Gervig, and by many nieces and nephews.

Honorary pallbearers are John Ford, Walter Hunter, Pat Patillo, Darrell Slette and Goodhue Smith. Memorials may be made to Austin Avenue United Methodist Church, the Waco Symphony Association, or a charity of choice.