It's hard to put Jerrie into a paragraph. To each person she was something special. The basics of birthday (01/14/26) and death (03/13/20) are easy. Saying she met her husband, Vilas, at a baseball game, ditched her date and then married him February 7, 1948 is simple.
Mentioning she is survived by her sons, Brad (Deb), Craig (Kathy), Kevin (Lois), Kyle (Kathy) also easy. Mentioning her ten grandkids Megan (Dave), Christian (Jennifer), Colleen(Max), Killian (Matthew), Ryan (Stephanie), Chance, Connor (Jenna), Sean, Ashley, Paul (Jasmine) and the great grandkids, Rachel, Grace, Clara, Haley, Piper, Jayce, Scarlett...and two more on the way is also easy.
But putting how many people she touched, how much she accomplished, how many people she helped, how fun she was, how many people she made laugh, how many people will miss her, how much it hurts for her to be gone into words is much harder.
How do you sum up 94 years in a paragraph or two? There aren’t enough adjectives for me to describe her, really and truly describe her. Scrappy. Smart. Determined. Wise. A take no shit kind of lady. Talented. Loving. Hard working. Cheesehead through and through. Farm people.
Jerrie sewed. And not like she hemmed pants...no no no. Lady made wedding dresses. She made a perfect Jackie O pink 2 piece suit with pillbox hat for a Halloween costume on almost no notice. She quilted these amazing, beautiful, intricate quilts that won awards. And she kept on sewing and quilting into her 90s.She was good at it. She could take a couple scraps of fabric and create a beautiful work of art. She made table runners for every damn holiday and season and made sure everyone had one for their house. She would see a fabric in the store that made her think of you and next thing you know you have a potholder or table runner in your mailbox. She was talented and humble about it when she should have been brushing her shoulders off.
There was always a deck (or three) of cards on the windowsill. But be prepared to get skunked because the lady was a card shark. Patient while those of us who weren’t gifted with math counted out on our fingers during cribbage. Hours were spent at the cottage playing cards while it rained.
Jerrie loved “visiting” Woman never met a stranger. Couple of her boys inherited that...the other ones are more like their dad, quiet and more reserved. Jerrie would talk to you for hours if you wanted.
Despite living around the corner from Lambeau, baseball was her true love. Everything stopped when the Brewers came on. Phone calls to Sibby to discuss whatever stupid decision the coach was making, long winded explantions about what would happen next season. But football season also brought lawnchairs to the driveway where she and Vilas would sit and listen to the game on the radio and in the air.
Jerrie and Vilas traveled. Visited damn near every state in the union and drove up to Canada tons. Brought their kids and their grandkids up to fish. She loved fishing and passed that love on to her boys and grandkids…..well some of her grandkids. Other grandkids just wanted to sit in the boat and read while other people fished.
Because it is near impossible to write about 94 years in a paragraph or two. Because each person that met Jerrie has a story about her. Because everyone will miss something specific about her or has a story that brings a smile to their face, please share them here. Share a time Jerrie made you smile, a time she made you something beautiful, a time she chatted with you and lifted your spirits, a time she let you scream and yell about the state of the world and reminded you of the good in it you couldn’t see at the time.
Mom/grandma we love you and will miss you. Till we meet again.
Celebration of life will be held at Bethany United Methodist Church, 1110 Echo Ln. Green Bay, WI. on May 16th at 10:30 a.m.