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Miles C. Gerberding
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miles gerberding

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Sadly, Miles Gerberding passed away in late October of 2015 at the age of 85, concluding almost 60 years of dedication to the practice of law. In an acknowledgement of his advancing years and the inevitable time when he would no longer be able to be of service to his clients, Miles asked his son Kent to assume responsibility for all of his client matters in the event of his demise. The wisdom of Miles' foresight in establishing such a "succession plan" was borne out during 2015 in the months prior to his death. As a part of Miles' succession plan, most client relationships have now been assumed by his son's firm, Running, Wise & Ford, PLC, with its principal office in Traverse City, MI, and satellite offices throughout northwest lower Michigan.

Tania Arens, Miles' former long-time assistant, is now employed by Running, Wise & Ford, PLC, and is working from its Traverse City office to foster continuity with Miles' former clients. For the convenience of clients unable to travel to and from Traverse City, client conferences may be arranged in Frankfort on an as needed basis.

By way of background, Running, Wise & Ford, PLC has been representing the interests of clients throughout northwest lower Michigan for over seventy years, demonstrating a legacy of commitment to its clients' needs for generations.

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Email: Miles@MilesGerberdingPLC.Com





Miles Carston Gerberding
10/25/1930 - 10/29/2015*

Miles Carston Gerberding, of Ft. Wayne, Ind, Arcadia, Mich., and Ft. Myers Beach, Fla., passed away peacefully on Oct. 28, 2015, at Munson's Hospice House.

Miles was born to the late Arnold and Luella Gerberding, on Oct. 25, 1930, in Decatur, Ind. He graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School in 1948, and went on to attend Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where he obtained his undergraduate and Juris Doctorate degrees.

Miles married Ruth Hostrup Gerberding, on Aug. 20, 1955, joined together until Ruth passed in 1992. On Jan. 2, 1993, Miles married Joan Wyatt Gerberding, who survives.

Miles served honorably as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps from 1950 to 1952.

After his service in the Marine Corps and following graduation from law school, Miles moved to Ft. Wayne, Ind., with his wife Ruth, where he began what would become a long, distinguished career in the practice of law and public service. After 41 years of private practice in Indiana, Miles retired from Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, in 1997.

During his years in practice, Miles' work included helping everything from large multinational corporations to individual families, and numerous charitable organizations, which today owe much of their financial footing to the tax exempt status he secured for them. Along the way, Miles also served as corporate counsel to what is now known as "Do It Best Corporation", which had been founded by his father and which he helped nurture into what is now a member-owned hardware and home center chain of over 3,800 outlets in over 50 countries.

Miles was a leader in his chosen profession as demonstrated through national and state offices he held, including as president of the Indiana State Bar Association and as chairperson of America Bar Association Committees. Miles was committed to helping charitable and community organizations both in Frankfort, Mich., Fort Wayne, Ind., and his alma mater Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Miles was the consummate hard worker (long before email and electronic devices) famous for taking his entire family to the office on Sunday mornings after church so he could "open the mail" before the start of the work week. Instilling a strong work ethic was paramount in raising his children. To the dismay of his children, one of his favorite pastimes was to take the family out to "the farm" to work on weekends, as he had done while a youth on his grandfather's farm.

In Miles' "retirement", he relocated to the shores of Lake Michigan, where he could continue to do what he loved…working…from his office in the City of Frankfort. He was an "old school" lawyer in every sense of the word. And during those months of "retirement" spent also in Florida, much of his day was spent tending to matters "at the office" by phone and email.

Miles was also an avid aviator, learning to fly in the 1970s, and continuing to fly until the age of 84. It was his one true hobby.

In addition to his parents, Miles was preceded in death by first wife, Ruth and his youngest sister, Charlotte.

He is survived by his loving spouse, Joanie; four children, Karla Smith, of Traverse City, Mich., Greta (David) Cowart, of Dallas, Texas, Kent (Diane) Gerberding, of Elk Rapids and Traverse City, Mich., and Brian (Kim) Gerberding, of Traverse City, Mich.; along with two stepchildren , Stephen (Madeline) Fackler, of Palo Alto, Calif., and Deborah Holbrook, of Elk Grove, Calif.; two brothers Keith (Joanna) Gerberding, of Southgate, Mich., and Mark (Debra) Gerberding, of Spencer, Ind.; and sister, Carmen (Nolan) Armstrong, of Tucson, Ariz.; 12 grandchildren and step-grandchildren, and four stepgreat-grandchildren.

Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2015, at Trinity Lutheran Church, with Pastor Rick Stieve officiating. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service.

Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, may be directed to the Trinity Lutheran Church, Frankfort, Mich.; the Lutheran Camp Association Foundation, Arcadia, Mich.; the Concordia Educational Foundation, Fort Wayne, Ind.; to the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Fund, c/o Indiana University Foundation, Bloomington, Ind.; or Pleasant Valley Community Centers, Arcadia, Mich.

Arrangements are by Jowett Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Service.

*Obituary as Posted in the Benzie County Record Patriot Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Running Wise & Ford:

(231) 946-2700
(800) 968-8577

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Main Location:
Running Wise & Ford,
326 East State Street
Traverse City, MI

Mailing Address:
c/o Running, Wise &
Ford, PLC
PO Box 686
Traverse City, MI
Email: Miles@MilesGerberdingPLC.Com

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