PROFILE OF A MUSEUM VOLUNTEER
(Gerry) A. Eckenrod was born April 25, 1917 to Raymond and Marie in Loretto,
Pennsylvania. Gerry and his six
siblings Charles, Anna Mae, Harold, Verna, Paul and Bernard were brought up
in Pennsylvania, where Gerry attended local schools, graduating from high
school in Cresson, PA.
Gerry joined the U. S. Army, and served 3 ½ years in the infantry. He was awarded the Distinguished Service
Cross for action against the enemy in Germany on November 29, 1944. Lieutenant Eckenrod led his company through
a series of assaults in order to clear a wooded area in the Hurtgen Forest of
two-man bunker defenses. Though
wounded twice in subsequent actions, he reorganized his company and led them
through a town heavily defended by enemy tanks. With disregard for his life and in face of
certain annihilation, they held their position and inflicted heavy
causalities upon the enemy until their position was attacked and
overrun. His extraordinary, courageous
actions reflect honor upon himself and the armed forces. Gerry was also awarded the Silver Star, the
Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts and the Prisoner of War Medal.
After becomming a civilian, Gerry attended Fresno State University in California,
and received a Masters in Business. He
worked for the Conservation Corps, was a Real Estate broker, and a High
School Instructor and Counselor. Gerry
spent twenty-three years at Fresno City College as an Instructor and
Counselor as well as Division Dean. He
retired in June of 1984 after a long and distinguished career.
Gerry and his wife Sherian were married in Reno, Nevada May 26, 1984. They have four children, Douglas, Susan,
Dennis and David, and one grandson, Douglas, Jr.
Gerry has served on the staff and is an invaluable liaison between the Legion
of Valor and the Legion of Valor Museum since April 2000.