Manfred Gellersen died Friday, June 26, 2020 of natural causes at his home in Millcreek. Manfred was born September 30, 1922 to Louis and Helene Gellersen in Buchholz in der Nordheide, Germany. As he entered school age, his family moved to nearby Stade and there joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After his schooling, he completed a mechanic’s apprenticeship and worked at his father’s service station. At the start of World War II he was 17 years old, and within two years he was drafted to serve in a tank unit on the Eastern Front. After over three years of hardships and suffering injury as a soldier, at war’s end he avoided capture by Soviet forces and made his way home to find that both of his brothers had also survived. On January 11, 1947 Manfred married Christa Drachenberg and continued to support his father’s business in the difficult postwar years. After the births of their daughters Birgid and Jutta, Manfred and Christa decided to immigrate to the United States. In February 1952, the family departed Hamburg by ship and arrived weeks later in Salt Lake City by bus. Speaking no English, Manfred found work within days loading milk trucks at Cream o’Weber. In his new country, son Roy and daughter Dorene were born. Retiring in a management position after 25 years at the dairy, Manfred started his own auto repair shop and continued his strong work ethic well into his nineties. He was committed to his faith as well and was always willing to lend a helping hand. He maintained ties to relatives, friends and army buddies in Germany and enjoyed many trips returning to visit his beloved homeland, but never regretted his decision to come to America. He is survived by his children; Birgid Park (Gordon), Cottonwood Heights; Jutta Gellersen, Millcreek; Roy Gellersen, Millcreek; and Dorene Connolly (Ed), Seaford, Virginia; 10 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Manfred is preceded in death by his wife, Christa, to whom he had been married 59 years; his brothers Werner and Erich and his sister Inge; as well as his granddaughter Alisa Connolly. A viewing will be held Sunday, July 5, 2020 from 6-8 p.m. at Memorial Mountain View Mortuary and Cemetery, 3115 East 7800 South, Cottonwood Heights. A private family funeral service will follow Monday, July 6, 2020.
“Lebe, wie du, wenn du stirbst, wünschen wirst, gelebt zu haben.”
Life Story Info
Oh, I am so to just now learn that dear Manfred has passed. I knew him from 24 hour fitness. he was Such a wonderful man. I just loved him. What a zest for life, and such great stories. His family is so fortunate to have had such a wonderful father and brother and brother in law. I will miss him and I only saw him at the "pool." -- Rebecca Russell (PS I now realize from reading his obituary that I went to high school with his daughter, Jutta. Small world.