In the Clouds

Finding Work and Life Balance

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Apr 30, 2019

Christie and Martin met at work on a flight from Washington DC to Frankfurt, Germany on December 30, 2007. Martin was a Boeing 777 First Officer and Christie was the Purser in charge of the Cabin. 

In July of 2017, the Gerhard family: Martin (52) and Christie (50) and their son Luke (9), moved from Minnesota to The Woodlands to live closer to the international hub at The George Bush Intercontinental Airport from where they work/fly out of for a major airline. Martin is a Boeing 737 Captain; Christie is an International Purser. 

Like most people from out of state, they did not expect to see a lush piney forest. “We had driven through northern Texas and Southern Oklahoma a few years back, so we expected a more arid countryside,” says Martin. “The Woodlands is just a gorgeous green oasis.”

The Gerhards love the weather in The Woodlands as their life in Minnesota was snow for almost six months per year, with temperatures reaching –25 degrees!  

Shortly after they settled in, The Gerhards started attending The Woodlands United Methodist Church’s service at The Loft. Luke also attends the school there on the same campus. 

“It’s refreshing to see everyone addressing each other as Sir and Ma’am,” explains Martin. “Old school politeness is alive and well in The Woodlands and we embrace it for sure!”

Martin and Christie’s older children live in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They enjoy Texas for its southern charm and hospitality, and their favorite local establishments are Republic Grill, Crust Pizza and Fogo de Chão.  

Martin graduated with a Bachelor of Science Aviation Management Flight Technology from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida. He received his Commercial and Certified Flight Instructor Ratings, was a Flight Instructor and via an internship was fast tracked to the airline in 1991 and was hired as a Boeing 727 Flight Engineer. 

Christie was hired with Pan Am at age 20 and flew the world as a Pan Am Stewardess the final three years at this historic airline. Shortly after Pan Am closed its doors, she continued her career with another major airline carrier.

Christie and Martin met at work on a flight from Washington DC to Frankfurt, Germany on December 30, 2007. Martin was a Boeing 777 First Officer and Christie was the Purser in charge of the Cabin. 

“We fell in love the moment we met,” smiles Christie. “Yes, it was love at first sight and flight!”

Since Luke was 3 months old, he started traveling to Europe with his Mom, mostly on the flights his Dad was piloting. Last month, the Gerhards went to London for the day, this time with Mom on duty. They certainly take advantage of the travel benefits and often fly to faraway places on a whim. However, the older Luke gets, it seems the less he wants to go on trips. His passport is full of stamps, so he figures he has “been there done that!” But he also loves staying at home and taking care of Willie, his new puppy, and hanging with his new-found friends from the neighborhood and school. 

In his spare time, Martin parachute jumps with the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team. This living history foundation preserves the history of the WWII Paratroopers who jumped into and fought all over Europe, starting with the D Day invasion of June 6, 1944. The team honors these veterans by performing historic parachute drops from C-47 Aircraft at Airshows and historic events all over the US and Europe (check out www.wwiiadt.org).

What’s next for these world travelers? Possibly a trip to Europe in the summer (Christie is wanting a stop in Rome while Martin is hoping for a sail throughout the Greek Isles.) Luke, well, would prefer to stay in The Woodlands and swim with his dog and friends!