Otto F. Gerkensmeier

Otto Frederick Gerkensmeier, 85, of Monmouth Beach, New Jersey, formerly of New York and Freehold, New Jersey passed away on Friday, January 4, 2013 at Monmouth Medical Center. Born in New York, Otto graduated from Grover Cleveland High School and enlisted in the United States Navy. He served on the USS Minivet-AM371-Minesweeper, which struck a mine, rolled over and sank on December 29, 1945, 31 died, 60 survived including Otto, who were later rescued at sea.

After his Naval Service, Otto graduated from the Cooper Union School of Engineering with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and also attended The Polytechnic Institute for graduate study. Otto joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York and then Holmdel New Jersey. At his retirement in August 1989 he was department head at AT&T Information Systems at Alcatel Lucent in Middletown, New Jersey. He was issued seven patents concerning data transmission, teleswitching, early work in low speed data transmission and later in voice/data systems for small business and government agencies. He also supervised the initial development of computer access for PICTUREPHONE service and the early development of the 911 emergency response system.

Otto was a former member of The Battleground Country Club and a member of the Tau Beta Pi, Telephone Pioneers, IEEE. He was an avid golfer and after moving to Monmouth Beach, Otto returned to his love of sailing. He could often be found on the Shrewsbury River or cruising the shore in his MG convertible.