Who is Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere? Bio, Career, Personal Life

Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere was a distinguished figure known for his contributions to the oil and gas industry and as the stepfather of Cher. He had a remarkable career as a financial consultant and served as a bombardier in World War II. Born on June 29, 1923, in Irvington, New Jersey, is a name that resonates with resilience, determination, and success. Known primarily as the stepfather of the iconic Cher, his life extends far beyond this familial connection. LaPiere’s journey from wartime heroism to a distinguished career in the oil and gas industry showcases a remarkable blend of personal and professional achievements.

LaPiere’s life story is one of profound impact and lasting influence. His contributions to the oil and gas sector and his pivotal role in Cher’s upbringing highlight his multifaceted legacy. This article delves into the various aspects of his life, celebrating his achievements and the indelible mark he left on those around him.

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Profile Summary

Full NameGilbert Hartmann LaPiere
BirthdateJune 29, 1923
BirthplaceIrvington, New Jersey
EducationUniversity of Missouri School of Mines (Petroleum Engineering)
Military ServiceArmy Air Corps bombardier during World War II
CareerFinancial consultant in the oil and gas industry, roles at City Service Oil Co., Chase Bank, W. E. Hutton and Co., Union Bank of California
Personal LifeMarried to Georgia Holt, later to Beverly Lorraine Foster LaPiere; stepfather to Cher and Georganne LaPiere; father to Verna Bullock; stepdaughter Diana Spahn; grandchildren
LegacyKnown for resilience, business acumen, familial devotion; significant influence on Cher’s life and career; contributions to the oil and gas industry
DeathFebruary 27, 2012, in Oklahoma City; buried at Rose Hill Burial Park

Early Life 

Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere was born into a humble family during the challenging times of the Great Depression. Raised by Albert J. LaPiere and Tillie Hartman LaPiere, Gilbert’s early years were marked by a strong sense of determination and ambition. Growing up in Irvington, New Jersey, he displayed exceptional promise from a young age.

LaPiere’s drive for excellence was evident early on. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, a testament to his dedication and leadership skills. This accomplishment laid the foundation for his future endeavors, instilling in him a sense of discipline and resilience.

Gilbert’s academic journey led him to the University of Missouri School of Mines, where he pursued a degree in Petroleum Engineering. His time at the university was marked by a commitment to mastering the technicalities of the field, preparing him for a successful career in the oil and gas industry.

World War II Service

The outbreak of World War II saw Gilbert answering the call of duty. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps, demonstrating his unwavering patriotism and courage. His role as a bombardier on B-24 Liberators took him to the skies over the Western Pacific theater.

Serving as a bombardier, LaPiere completed 35 missions, each filled with peril and bravery. His meticulous attention to detail and precision were crucial in executing successful bombing raids, significantly contributing to the Allied efforts during the war.

One of the most harrowing experiences of his military career was surviving a crash after a bombing mission. This incident not only showcased his resilience but also reinforced his determination to overcome adversity, a trait that would define his post-war life.

Professional Career

After the war, LaPiere resumed his education and subsequently began his professional journey at City Service Oil Co. in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. As an Evaluation Engineer, he quickly made a name for himself with his technical expertise and innovative approach to problem-solving.

LaPiere’s career took a significant turn when he joined Chase Bank in New York City. His role involved facilitating oil loans, mergers, and sales, where his insights and analytical skills played a pivotal role. His contributions helped shape the financial landscape of the oil and gas industry.

Moving to W. E. Hutton and Co., Gilbert managed the Oil and Gas Department on Wall Street. His deep understanding of the industry and keen business acumen made him a respected figure in the financial sector, influencing major decisions and investments.

LaPiere’s expertise extended beyond traditional roles, as he became a sought-after advisor for oil and gas stocks and public offerings. His ability to predict market trends and provide strategic guidance cemented his reputation as a financial consultant and industry expert.

Driven by a desire for independence, Gilbert ventured into entrepreneurship as a financial consultant. Renowned for his troubleshooting skills, he played a crucial role in establishing financial stability for numerous companies and independent operators, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

Personal Life and Family

Gilbert’s personal life intertwined with the world of entertainment when he married Georgia Holt, a talented singer-songwriter, actress, and model. This union brought him into the lives of her daughters, Cher (born Cherilyn Sarkisian) and Georganne LaPiere. Gilbert’s decision to legally adopt them showcased his deep commitment to family.

As Cher’s stepfather, LaPiere played a significant role in her formative years. His support and guidance provided a stable environment that nurtured her talents and ambitions. This influence was instrumental in shaping Cher into the resilient and determined artist she would become.

After his marriage to Georgia Holt ended, Gilbert found companionship and love with Beverly Lorraine Foster LaPiere. This union added another layer of fulfillment to his personal life, reflecting his capacity for resilience and adaptability.

Involvement in the Oil and Gas Industry

LaPiere’s impact on the oil and gas industry was profound. At Chase Bank, he facilitated crucial loans and mergers, significantly contributing to the sector’s growth. His role at Union Bank of California further underscored his influence, where he served as vice president in the oil and gas division.

His strategic insights and financial acumen were instrumental in navigating the complexities of mergers and sales within the industry. Gilbert’s ability to stabilize and grow companies left a lasting impact, ensuring their success and sustainability.

LaPiere’s legacy in the oil and gas industry is marked by his innovative approaches and unwavering dedication. His contributions continue to inspire and guide current and future professionals in the sector, highlighting the enduring nature of his influence.

Later Years and Legacy

In his later years, Gilbert retired to Oklahoma City, where he enjoyed a quieter life. His membership at the Quail Creek Golf and Country Club reflected his love for golf and his desire to remain active and engaged in the community.

The Quail Creek Golf and Country Club became a significant part of LaPiere’s retirement, providing him with a social and recreational outlet. His involvement in the club showcased his ability to balance professional success with personal enjoyment.

Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere passed away on February 27, 2012, in Oklahoma City. He was laid to rest at Rose Hill Burial Park, leaving behind a legacy of resilience, business acumen, and familial devotion. His passing was mourned by his surviving family, including daughters Verna Bullock, Cher, and Georganne Bartylak, step-daughter Diana Spahn, and grandchildren.

Cher’s Relationship and Influence

The relationship between Gilbert and Cher was one of mutual respect and affection. As her stepfather, he provided guidance and support, helping her navigate the challenges of her early career. His influence extended beyond the realms of stepfatherhood, fostering a deep bond that persisted throughout their lives.

Gilbert’s presence in Cher’s life played a crucial role in her development as an artist and individual. His unwavering support and encouragement helped shape her into the resilient, determined, and iconic figure she is today. Cher’s acknowledgment of his impact underscores the profound influence he had on her journey.

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Gilbert Hartmann LaPiere’s life is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to excellence. From his early achievements as an Eagle Scout to his bravery during World War II, and his influential career in the oil and gas industry, LaPiere’s journey is marked by significant accomplishments.

His legacy extends beyond his professional achievements, encompassing his profound impact on his family, particularly Cher. LaPiere’s contributions to the oil and gas industry and his role in Cher’s life highlight the enduring nature of his influence. His story is a powerful reminder of the lasting impact one individual can have on multiple spheres of life.

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