John Love Gerrity – Major General, United States Army

John Love Gerrity, 81, a retired Army Major General who was principal architect of the Army's position for all issues addressed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the late 1970s , died of lung cancer January 18, 2007, at Hospice of Naples in Florida.


As Army planner, General Gerrity dealt with, among other issues, military strategy, the structure of the armed forces, the last year of the U.S. engagement in Vietnam, the turnover of the Panama Canal and Cold War matters.

He was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and graduated from the U. S. Military Academy in 1947. He served in Germany, the United States and Vietnam, where he served two tours. In Vietnam, he commanded the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in 1970.

Among his military honors, he received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, five Legions of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals and 13 Air Medals. He received a master's degree in international affairs in 1967 from George Washington University.

General Gerrity retired from the Army in 1979 and for the next 20 years worked as a defense analyst with the BDM Corporation and the Institute for Defense Analyses in Northern Virginia. He lived in Alexandria before moving to Florida.

His wife of 38 years, Nancy Ann Bowker Gerrity, died in 1990.

Survivors include his wife of 15 years, Barbara Ann Gerrity of Naples; three children from his first marriage, John Love Gerrity III of Palo Alto, California, Kathleen Frances Petersen of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Jean Marie Gerrity of Alexandria; a stepdaughter, Sherry Herbert of Houston; and five grandchildren.

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