The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) mourns the loss of Joel Gerstel, a long-time friend and partner in the Parkinson’s community. Mr. Gerstel, who served as President and CEO of the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) until 2012, passed away on January 21 at the age of 80.
Mr. Gerstel served APDA and the Parkinson's disease community for more than 30 years. He began his work with APDA as a board member, and in 1995, took on the role of Executive Director. From 2011 until 2012, Mr. Gerstel served as President and CEO. One month after his retirement, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
PDF President Robin Elliott noted,
“With the passing of Joel Gerstel, the Parkinson's community has lost an able leader, and the Parkinson's Disease Foundation has lost a wise advisor and a good friend. He enriched us with his practical common sense, inspired us with the service he gave to his organization and his community, and warmed us with his impish sense of humor.
"We hope that the loving memories of his many colleagues and friends will endure as a rich source of comfort for Deanne and for the family of which he was so proud. Thank you, Joel; you served us all well, and you brightened our lives. We are grateful for the experience of having known you, and we will miss you deeply."