Gerhard Postpischil, 1943—2019

Gerhard Postpischil, 76, of Bradford, Vermont, passed away November 7, 2019, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

He was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1943 to Josefine (Kößl) Postpischil (later Spielberg) and Emmerich Postpischil (d. 1944). The family immigrated to New York City in 1957, and Gerhard became a US citizen in 1963.

Gerhard attended Theodore Roosevelt High School (Bronx, New York), Class of 1959. He went on to further his education at The City College of New York with a New York State Regents scholarship, 1959-1965, where he studied physics, electrical engineering, and mathematics.

He was a self-taught computer programmer, and he spent his career working as a systems analyst for mainframe computers in the Washington, D.C., area. He was the author of the Exhibit program for MVS. He also worked as a senior software programmer for Applied Data Research, 1966-1971 in Arlington, Virginia, and as a system programmer and manager of the systems group for American Management Systems, 1974-1978 in Rosslyn, Virginia. He ran the systems group at International Group Plans. He operated Expert Systems Programming, Inc., 1979-1994 in Vienna, Virginia. He worked as a senior programmer for EMC2 (EMC Corporation), 1998-2001.

In his leisure time, Gerhard enjoyed model railroading, trains, and science fiction.

He retired to Vermont in 2000 where he was active at the community senior and teen centers, the regional transportation board, and other community organizations and committees. He also stayed active in computer programming during his retirement, contributing to software collections including MVS/380 and supporting the Hercules IBM mainframe emulator project.

He is survived by ex-wife Caroline Nevins, his sons Eric and Alex, and his sister Ellen. He was predeceased by his brother James.

There will be no service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to organizations below.


Here are suggestions for anybody who would like to make donations in my father’s name.

These first three support the Bradford community. Dad chose Bradford to retire to, and it is a nice town. On occasion, I asked neighbors and strangers to help in a pinch, and they did so happily.

Dad was a fan of railroads and model railroads and contributed to the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, which promotes railroads, historic preservation, and museums. He was a life member of the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum.



My father wrote a memoir about the first fourteen years of his life.


Dad in North Conway
My father was born in Vienna, Austria, and grew up there. At age 14, he immigrated to the United States, slightly after his mother. For as long as I knew him, he wrote software. He never pushed me toward that, so I have to figure my attraction to computer programming is hereditary. We also shared a love of science fiction. Many of the books I read in my teenage years were those in our house from his past reading. A number of his mathematics books also contributed to my education. In later years, my father sought a place to retire and selected Bradford. He became part of the community here, participating in town committees and activities. That was important to him, and I thank the residents of Bradford for their community.

When I was 17, I got a summer job doing technical support at a place my father had worked previously as a systems programmer. We worked in a walk-in area where customers could work and ask questions, but we also answered phones. One day, I heard a coworker telling another person they did not know of a way to compare files in certain software we were using. I said there was and tried to explain, whereupon the coworker gave me the phone, and I finished the technical support call. After the call, I apparently asked my coworker, “Didn’t you read the manual?” [Pause.] They said, “You sound like your father.”

Dad continued to work on software after he retired. In 2017, one member of his online community, Paul Edwards, told me “in my eyes, losing him would be like losing Einstein — a tragedy for the whole world.”

In 2014, I took my father and my brother to Europe. A primary goal for me was to introduce them to relatives they had never met. A primary goal for them was to visit every destination train, train attraction, and model train shop in Europe, including the Orient Express exhibit at Arab World Institute in Paris, Le P’tit Train in Froissy, model train stores in Paris, the model train exhibit at Deutsches Museum, model train stores and an antique streetcar in Innsbruck, the Sommerrodelbahn in Mieders, the Zillertalbahn with a steam engine from Jenbach to Mayrhofen, a funicular in Hallstatt, a steep adhesion railroad in Linz, plus more model train stores, the Liliputbahn in Wien’s Prater, and, on one single day in Budapest, the metro, a streetcar, a cog railway, a railway operated by children, and another funicular. We did meet the relatives, eventually, but I am glad my father got to indulge himself.

Dad on Sommerrodelbahn
A few of my other memories with my father are:

Memories from My Brother, Alex

Alex and Dad at Pikes Peak Dad by a locomotive in Wales