house resolution no.175

The Speaker, on behalf of the entire membership of the House of Representatives, offered the following resolution:

A resolution of tribute offered as a memorial for John Gernaat, former member of the House of Representatives.

Whereas, It is with great sorrow that the members of the House of Representatives learned about the passing of John Gernaat. He will be remembered as a dedicated public servant who was committed to his constituents in Missaukee, Osceola, Roscommon, and Wexford counties and the people of the State of Michigan; and

Whereas, John Gernaat was born in McCain, Michigan to Herman and Minnie Gernaat. He studied business accounting at Davenport College in Lansing and Grand Rapids before beginning a successful career in sales and banking, first with the Falmouth Co-ops and then with Jenema Farm Equipment. He then became an agricultural loan officer and Vice President at Chemical Bank, where he oversaw Mr. Gernaat was an active member of his community, serving as a member of the McBain Chamber of Commerce, the McBain Downtown Development Authority, the McBain Tax Increment Finance Authority, and numerous other organizations, in addition to his dedication to his church; and

Whereas, John Gernaat was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1991 when he successfully sought election in Michiganís 18th district. Following his first term, he went on to serve Michiganís 102nd District for three terms in the House of Representatives where he served his constituents dutifully until his retirement in 1999. As a lifelong Michigander and farmer at heart, Mr. Gernaat faithfully served on the committees of Agriculture and Forestry, Economic Development, State Affairs, and Tax Policy. He also chaired the Senior Citizens Committee and was the majority and minority vice chair for the Commerce Committee. He authored numerous pieces of legislation and worked tirelessly to advocate for Michiganders; and

Whereas, John Gernaat is survived by his wife and best friend, Karen, of 62 years; four children, Brad, Kenda, Randy, and Gregg; sister, Karen; six in-laws; five grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren whom he loved dearly. His parents, parents-in-law, four siblings, one brother-in-law, and one grandson preceded him in death. Mr. Gernaat is described as a kind, generous, and caring man who was an optimist by nature and had a passion for helping others. His contributions to the State of Michigan will be remembered and felt for years to come; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we offer this expression of our highest tribute to honor the memory of John Gernaat, a member of the House of Representatives from 1991 to 1998; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Gernaat family as evidence of our lasting esteem for his memory.