Cover photo for Rachel M. Gerhardt's Obituary
Rachel M. Gerhardt Profile Photo

Rachel M. Gerhardt

December 4, 1990 — December 21, 2023

Minneapolis

Rachel M. Gerhardt

Rachel (Grandstrand) Gerhardt of Minneapolis, MN, was born on December 4, 1990, to David and Karen Grandstrand.  Rachel grew up in the Dellwood and Orono suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Her early childhood was spent building forts, swimming, playing house, etc. with her older brother, Paul, who was her best friend while also being the typical older brother who managed to get her to pay for Beanie Babies.  She went to White Bear Montessori School and begged to start ballet at age 2.  When told she had to be 3, she immediately informed her parents upon her third birthday that it was time, so she started two weeks later along with piano and cello lessons. Other important activities included church choir, horseback riding, and scuba diving.  She was in the Artaria Chamber Music School, Minnesota Youth Symphonies, and Augsburg Suzuki Program; she participated in numerous cello master classes including one with YoYo Ma at Minnesota Orchestra.

Starting as a 3-year-old, she attended Breck School, graduating in 2009.  At Breck she was in every Breck string musical group from age 3 until graduation and was in the Upper School Musical pit orchestra from 6th grade on. She also excelled at math, art and sewing and has an extensive collection that spans from ceramics to weaving to sketches to quilts and a coat for her mother.   She was torn between going the conservatory route or traditional college route and chose Oberlin Conservatory where she earned a BA in cello performance and music history in 2013.  Following graduation from Oberlin she was accepted into Teach for America, placing at Excell Academy in Minneapolis where she taught second and fourth graders.  She then taught kindergarten at Breck, while earning a master’s degree in elementary literacy and a certificate in middle school mathematics.  She most recently was a 7th grade math teacher at Hiawatha Academy, Minneapolis, and a staff member at Breck Summer Programs.  Children and teaching were her passion.  A Hiawatha Teacher Spotlight article written by a couple of her students described Ms. Gerhardt as “an amazing teacher, and one of our favorites” explaining that Ms. Gerhardt “always told us that we were smarter than we believed, and it gave me a certain type of motivation to be better.”

Rachel married Emily (Nimmer) Gerhardt in 2013.  Together they shared a passion for visiting every state park in Minnesota, often tenting it with the kids.  She was the very proud mother of Harper, age 8, and Lynden, age 5, who were the love of her life.  Days with mama included lots of snuggles, reading, craft projects, cooking, and gardening.

She was an avid gardener and used a raised garden box she designed and built by her dad, Paul, and Emily to provide fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits for her family.  She was an excellent cook, known for her lefsa and pasta dishes and the ability to make meals out of whatever vegetables happened to show up in the weekly farm box.  She also loved animals, with a special fondness for her cats.

She is survived by her wife, Emily; children, Harper and Lynden; brother, Paul and his wife, Rachel, and nephew Samuel; parents, Karen and David Grandstrand; and grandmother, Edythe Grandstrand.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 29, 2023, at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, 17205 County Road 6, Plymouth, MN 55447. Visitation will begin at 12:30.

Please take a moment to write a memory or story about Rachel for her family.  They look forward to creating a collection of your cherished moments spent with Rachel.  Please bring them with you to her Celebration of Life at church or blank cards will be available that day.  If you are unable to attend, you can send your memory of Rachel directly to her parents, David and Karen or email them to the funeral home at info@delmore.com

Thank you.

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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, December 29, 2023

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church

17205 County Road 6, Plymouth, MN 55447

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, December 29, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Central time)

St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church

17205 County Road 6, Plymouth, MN 55447

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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