Charles L. Gebhardt, Jr.

Charles L. Gebhardt, Phi, 1934, Phi Alpha 1956-1957

Charles L. Gebhardt, Phi, 1934, was a successful retailer and marketing executive, known to his brothers and friends as Geb. While an undergraduate, he was president of the sophomore class at NYU.

Brother Gebhardt began his retail career with John Wanamaker of Philadelphia and New York and joined Stern Brothers Department Store in New York in 1946. Later, he was Assistant to the President at Stetson Hats and later Vice President of Marketing at Knox Hats. After suffering a stroke, he retired from Pendleton Woolen Mills in 1971.

During his long and dedicated career of service to Zeta Psi, Brother Gebhardt held several international offices culminating in his election as Phi Alpha. During his term as Phi Alpha, the Rho chapter at Middlebury College was chartered on December 12, 1956.

Before his marriage to Elinor Sudell in 1939, Brother Gebhardt lived at the Zeta Psi Club
of New York and served as its president.

Brother Gebhardt’s son, John, Phi 1969, served as Phi Alpha from 1982-1884, and the
two of them are the only father and son to serve as Phi Alphas of the Fraternity.

Brother Gebhardt was born on July 1, 1912 and died on February 7, 1979. Lying in a
hospital bed in a coma the last week of his life, son John would sit and talk with him, not
knowing if he could hear or know who was there. Leaving the night before Charles
passed, John took his father’s hand and Charles slowly, but surely, slipped him the
fraternity grip, acknowledging he knew who was there with him.