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Joseph “Joe” Gernoske, 78

Joseph “Joe” Gernoske, 78

Joseph “Joe” Gernoske, age 78, of Hendersonville died Sunday, November 20th, 2016 at his home. Joe was born in Two Rivers, Wisconsin; a son of the late, Joseph and Tillie Gernoske. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Carol Conway Gernoske who died in 1969.

Although Joe had a successful business career including serving as a Production Manager for General Mills in the 1960’s and 1970’s, he proclaimed that his life really began when he and his wife, Ginny relocated to Black Mountain in Western North Carolina in 1992. He and Ginny joined the Presbyterian Faith in PCUSA at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in 1993. After serving in leadership roles at church, Presbytery, serving on Evangelism Committee, two terms as a Dean of Presbytery Leadership School and on the Commission Lay Pastor Task Force, he was led to being a Volunteer Chaplain at the V.A. Hospital in Asheville in 1998. While serving at the hospital he found his comfort in being with patients on a one on one basis and acquired a passion for helping those afflicted with mental illness. That passion combined with his MBA degree and business experience resulted in his being the Founding Board Chairperson of Thrive in 2006. Joe also served as Facilitator for NAMI, a support group for those who have family members suffering with mental illness.

His love for helping other people was also shown while he served as president of the Westgate Optimist Club in Toledo and as president of the Kiwanis Club in Black Mountain. Joe will be remembered as being compassionate, spiritual, sensitive to others feelings, tender hearted, a counselor, accepting people as they are, a problem solver, and knowledgeable. He was laid back and even tempered; he was always looking for the best in a person (finding something to love), was hard working, had a huge heart for the mentally ill, was a loyal friend, had a different sense of humor, he was thoughtful, methodical, a negotiator and loved numbers.

He liked to watch the wonders of the world, talk and read. He enjoyed a fire in the fireplace, sitting on the front porch, paddle boating, hors d’oeuvres and wine on Lake Lure. He studied through video lectures, books and seminars on all of his passions. Joe assumed the pastoral staff position of Parish Visitor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville in 2003 and continued in that position until his retirement in 2015.

Joe is survived by his wife of 40 years, Ginny; one son, David of Newport, NC; two grandchildren, Carolyn Knebl of Shreveport, LA and Matthew of Newport, NC; one great-grandchild, Cole Knebl of Shreveport, LA.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 at Trinity Presbyterian Church officiated by the Reverend Mark Stanley and Reverend Bobbi White.

The family will receive friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s memory may be directed to THRIVE, 522 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville, NC 28739; Henderson County Animal Services, 828 Stoney Mountain Road, Hendersonville, NC 28791; or to Four Seasons Hospice, 581 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of the arrangements.