Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Borton: Former State Rep. Gernaat leaves lasting legacy
RELEASE|January 17, 2024
Contact: Ken Borton

State Rep. Ken Borton introduced a memorial resolution Wednesday to honor the life and legacy of former State Rep. John Gernaat. Gernaat, who passed away at age 84 last fall, served in the Michigan House from 1991 to 1999, representing the 102nd District.

“John was well-loved by many people and sought out ways to help others,” said Borton during a House floor speech Wednesday. “Well-known for his cheerfulness and friendliness, others appreciated his kind and caring demeanor. Folks remember his winning smile, which never failed to brighten their day. His positivity was contagious.”

Gernaat and his wife Karen were lifetime residents of McBain, MI. He was a Davenport College graduate who went on to become an agricultural loan officer and vice president at Chemical Bank. There, he was responsible for agricultural lending across Michigan.

“Farming was always important to John,” Borton said. “Up until the very end, you could still find him working on the family dairy farm. He represented the agricultural community in various capacities over the years, including serving on the House Agriculture Committee during his tenure in the Legislature. He also was very active in his community and was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by Farm Bureau.”

Gernaat is survived by his wife of 62 years, their four children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


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