Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere was a remarkable individual whose life intersected with greatness, leaving an indelible impact on both the people he encountered and the world at large. As a World War II veteran and former oil businessman, LaPiere displayed immense bravery and resilience throughout his life. However, it was his role as Cher’s caring stepfather that truly showcased his generous heart and nurturing spirit. In this article, we delve into the extraordinary life of Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere, a man whose story epitomizes courage, compassion, and unwavering devotion.
Early Life and Military Service
Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere was born on June 29, 1923, in Irvington, New Jersey, to Tillie and Albert LaPiere. Raised in Newark, New Jersey, he showed a passion for academics and athletics from an early age. His dedication to personal growth and service led him to achieve the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout during his grade school years.
When World War II erupted, LaPiere put his studies on hold and enlisted in the military. Serving his country with valor and dedication, he embarked on thirty-five missions as a pilot. One particularly harrowing mission required him to eject himself from his aircraft after a bombing mission, demonstrating his courage and unwavering commitment to the cause.
Business Ventures and the Oil Industry
Following his military service, LaPiere resumed his studies and eventually ventured into the oil industry. He began his professional career at City Service Oil Co. in Oklahoma before transitioning to a position at Chase Bank in his home state of New York. With his experience and expertise, LaPiere navigated the oil industry with finesse, forging connections and contributing to its growth.
A Caring Stepfather to Cher
In 1962, Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere married Georgia Holt, an Arkansas-born actress. Despite their eventual divorce in 1964, LaPiere’s impact on Holt’s daughters, including Cher, was profound and enduring. LaPiere took on the role of a caring and devoted stepfather, treating the girls as if they were his own.
LaPiere’s influence on Cher’s life extended far beyond family dynamics. Recognizing her potential, he enrolled Cher in a private school, providing her with opportunities for growth and success. Even during challenging times, such as Cher’s involvement with actor Warren Beatty at a young age, LaPiere remained a steadfast and guiding presence, offering support and guidance.
Life Beyond Divorce and Lasting Legacy
Following his divorce from Georgia Holt, Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere embarked on a new chapter in his life. He found love once again and married his second wife, Beverly Lorraine Foster LaPiere, born on October 31, 1928, in LA. Their union lasted an impressive thirty-four years. During this time, LaPiere continued to make significant contributions to the oil industry, providing opportunities for fellow business professionals.
Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere’s legacy goes beyond his professional achievements. Despite the end of his marriage to Georgia Holt, Cher chose to continue using the LaPiere surname as a testament to the love and guidance she received from her caring stepfather. It is a testament to the profound impact he had on her life and the lasting bond they shared.
Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere’s life journey is a testament to bravery, resilience, and compassion. From his days as a brave pilot during World War II to his success in the oil industry and his role as Cher’s caring stepfather, LaPiere left an indelible mark on the world. His unwavering support, love, and guidance continue to inspire and uplift others, reminding us of the profound impact one person can make in the lives of many.