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Friday, December 3, 2010

Gerardus A. Backhaus, 68, New Braunfels, TX, Formerly Eldred, PA & Allegany, NY

Gerardus A. Backhaus, age 68, died Dec. 1, 2010, peacefully at his home in New Braunfels, with his wife and family by his side after a brief battle with cancer.

Mr. Backhaus is survived by a wife, Patricia, four children, John (Kay) Backhaus of Allegany, NY, Patrick (Kara) Benca of Little Rock, AR, Michael (Sue) Benca of Ocean Springs, MS, Kristina Benca of San Antonio and nine grandchildren.

He also leaves behind one brother Joseph (Karlet) Backhaus of Chaffee, NY and two sisters, Regina Freeman of Bradford, PA and Elizabeth (Michael) Wilch of Fernandina Beach, FL and several nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by parents, Johan Peter and Catharina (Nettie) Backhaus, sister, Maria Marasco, and niece, Christina Giordano.

Gerardus was born in Merkelbeek, Netherlands and immigrated with his family to Eldred, PA in 1957. He served three years in the Army, to include Vietnam, where he piloted the “bird dog” and flew numerous combat missions in support of his country. His service resulted in him being awarded several medals to include the Distinguished Flying Cross. Gerry spent the majority of his years in Allegany, NY with friends and family.

He was a law partner in Hornburg, Diggs, Backhaus & Simon before retiring in 2008 and moving to New Braunfels. Much of his working years were spent working on behalf of children as an advocate for them during trying times.

He was a member of the American Legion in New Braunfels and the VFW of Sattler, TX.

Gerry will be remembered as a father, a husband, an Opa, an inspiration to children and a decorated military aviator. He will be missed by the numerous people he impacted.

A service will be held Dec. 28, 2010, at 6 p.m. at his home at 240 Arendes Drive, New Braunfels, TX 78132.

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