AUGUST 24, 1930 – AUGUST 7, 2020
Paul E. Gebhardt of Longmont, formerly of Boulder and Goodyear, Arizona, passed away peacefully early in the morning of August 7th, just a few days before his 90th birthday. Paul was born on August 24, 1930 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the second child of George E. and Carolyn B. Gebhardt
He attended grade school, junior high and early high school in Davenport, Iowa. Paul later graduated from Manchester High School in Manchester, Iowa in 1947 where he excelled as a four sport athlete.
Paul then attended and graduated from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa with a degree in business administration. While at St. Ambrose Paul was a member of the St. Ambrose championship football teams of 1949, 1950 and 1951.
During the summer of 1949 and 1950, Paul enlisted in the Marine Corps Officer Training Program and became a commissioned officer in 1951. Also in 1951 Paul met Phyllis Jane Allen on a double
date. They later married on March 12, 1952 and were happily married for 65 years until her death on October 4, 2017.
Shortly after they married, Paul was deployed to Korea where Paul proudly served his country for 18 months before retiring as a Marine Corps Captain in 1954.
Paul and Phyllis then started their journey of a long career in the automotive industry, moving their family over the years from Illinois to Iowa and eventually to Colorado. From 1954 forward, Paul represented the Chevrolet, BMW, Fiat, Lancia, Lincoln Mercury, Buick, GMC, Volkswagen, Isuzu, Saab, and Porsche brands of automobiles. In 1975, Paul moved his family to Colorado and founded Boulder European Autos which later became Gebhardt Automotive. Today Gebhardt Automotive continues as a 45 year family owned business selling the BMW and Volkswagen brands.
Paul took great pride that all seven of his children worked at the dealership at one point during their careers and that his legacy continues with three generations of family dealerships in Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Paul believed that as a family dealership, everyone he worked with was a part of his second family. He carried in his shirt pocket 3×5 index cards with the names of every person that worked at the dealership as it was important to him to know all the people he worked with.
Paul strongly believed in giving back to the community that supported his business and served on many boards and committees including as a city councilman in Washington, Iowa. He was a past president of the Washington and Boulder YMCA boards, Boulder Country Club, and the Colorado Motor Vehicle Dealer board. He was also never afraid to stand up for what he believed in and never shy to express an opinion (sometimes he had reliable facts!).
Paul was a man of faith and through the years was a member of Sacred Heart of Jesus (Boulder), St. John the Baptist, and St. Francis of Assisi (Longmont) parishes. He had a book entitled, ‘Everyman’s Road to Heaven’ and wrote in the front cover, “Please return to Paul Gebhardt, I’m trying to get there too!”, and that was how he lived his life, trying to get to heaven.
He is survived by seven children, Joe (Jacque) Gebhardt of Loveland, Anne Gebhardt O’Brien of Westminster, Susan (Larry) Helbig of Atlanta, Mike Gebhardt of Longmont, Jim Gebhardt of Superior, Tom (Sheila) Gebhardt of Erie, and Carol Gebhardt of Westminster.
He was a devoted “Papa” to eight grandchildren, Matt (Sarah) Gebhardt of Windsor, Greg (Haley) Gebhardt of Fort Collins, Chris (Suzy) Gebhardt of Loveland, Tripp O’Brien of New York City, Katie (Luke) Whitson of Longmont, Ryan Gebhardt of Superior, Maddy Gebhardt of Superior, and Callen Gebhardt of Erie.
Paul is also survived by eleven great grandchildren, Joseph, Jackson, Gabby, Nolan, Nicholas, Stella, Jordan and Baylor Gebhardt and Tanner, Emmie Alden and Addie Grace Whitson.
He is also survived by his good friend and brother-in-law Bob Prescott of Arizona and the Prescott, Crowley, and Mattes families.
Paul was preceded in death by his beloved wife Phyllis and an infant son, his parents George and Carolyn Gebhardt, his sister Ruth Ann and her husband David Mattes, sister and brother-in-law Judy and Tom Crowley, and sister-in-law Linda Prescott.
One of Paul’s favorite sayings (that we can print in the newspaper) was, “God gave you two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly.”
Paul loved to spend time on the golf course and he probably sold more cars on the golf course than at the dealership. After many happy memories at Boulder Country Club, Paul joined Lake Valley Golf Club, “A fabulous course with beautiful views and great BLTs”. A grateful acknowledgement to Mitch Galnick, Rob Mount, and the staff at Lake Valley for their kindness to Paul in his last years on the course.
Paul looked forward to being with a member of his family every day, but due to Covid-19 that was not possible for the last five months. The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers at Greenridge Place Memory Care Center, Touching Hearts, and Dignity Hospice for the great care he received and making him feel loved like family.
A private family Mass was celebrated on August 24th, his 90th birthday at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, with a burial at Fort Logan Cemetery.
Paul carried an old piece of paper in his wallet that had the typewritten words “MONEY IS LIKE MANURE—IT’S NO GOOD UNLESS IT IS SPREAD AROUND.” In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to two of his favorite causes: Buffs4Life Foundation PO Box 19261 Boulder, CO 80308 www.buffs4life.org or to the YMCA of Northern Colorado 2800 Dagny Way Lafayette, CO 80026
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