Neal P. Gerdes passed away on April 21st at his home on Kingsley Avenue, where his family had lived for over 65 years. Neal was born in Burlington, Iowa, on June 10, 1948. He moved to the Indianapolis home on Kingsley when he was five. Neal attended Christ the King Grade School, Bishop Chatard High School, and graduated from Xavier University. After college Neal became interested in diving and eventually took a job as an underwater welder in the North Sea. As a diver, he repaired and laid underwater pipeline for several years before returning to Indianapolis. He founded the Gerdes Construction Corporation. As a contractor and carpenter, Neal left his handprints on many homes throughout the Northside of Indianapolis. Friendly, skilled, and a perfectionist with his work, Neal was a gifted craftsman and a trusted contractor. Neal married his beloved wife Kitty Schnieders Kent in 1997. Kitty passed away in 2014, “the saddest day of my life,” Neal said. His friends remember him as a quiet but funny guy. He was a humble, loyal, remarkably talented friend who could fix anything and was always available to help. Neal was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church and was a volunteer at the St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry for several years. He enjoyed watching the Colts and motorsports, reading, walking the neighborhood, and spending time with his many lifelong friends and family. Neal was preceded in death by his brother Grant, his father Max Gerdes, and his mother Rosie Gerdes. Survivors include stepsons Jack Kent and Patrick Kent and nieces Kim Wright and Lisa Norris. Special thanks go to the many family members and friends who were with Neal during his last months.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 2, at Christ the King Catholic Church at 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Christ the King Catholic Church. O’Riley – Branson Funeral Service & Crematory is serving the family. Visit www.ORileyBranson.com to share a favorite memory or to sign the online guest registry.