Gerald F. “Jerry” Edwards, 89, of Appleton, passed away surrounded by his family on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, after a short illness.
Jerry was born Dec. 26, 1928, in the family home in Pardeeville, to Fritz and Mae (Wilson) Edwards during the Great Depression. His siblings included two brothers, Wayne and Gary, and three sisters, Shirley, Donna and Cheryl. He grew up with a love of the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing, and was a standout high school basketball player. A member of the Greatest Generation, Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1946, at age 17, and attended basic training in Fort Bliss, Texas. As the war ended in August 1946, he shipped out and was a member of the occupational forces in Yokohama Harbor, Japan.
After mustering out of the Army in 1947, Jerry began his life’s work in education, attending Juneau County Normal School and later graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1955. He then took an elementary teaching position in St. Paul, Minnesota, in February 1955. He met Carol S. Judd while there and they were married on July 14, 1956. He went to UW-Madison from 1956-57, and earned his master’s degree late that summer. His firstborn son John was born in 1957, at which time Jerry began teaching in Marshfield. After his daughter Beth was born in 1959, the family moved to Ohio, where Jerry was the director of outdoor education at Antioch College in Yellow Springs. He was there from 1959-1965, during which time Dave was born in 1961. They then transferred to Edgerton, where Jerry was the supervising elementary principal from 1965-1968, then to Marion, Iowa, where he was the curriculum director from 1968-1977, to Marion, Wisconsin, where he was the school superintendent from 1977-1985, and finally to Richland Center where he retired from the district administrator position in 1993. They continued to live there until 2003, when they then moved to Appleton.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Carol J. Edwards; children, John (Connie) Edwards, Beth (Lyle) Buettner, David (Kerstin) Edwards; grandchildren, Josh (Lindsey), Justin (Sarah), Hans (Nora), Mitch (Amanda), Daniel, Markus, Elliott (Tina), Neil, Alan; eight great-grandchildren; other beloved relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick (Fritz) and Mae Edwards; sisters, Donna and Cheryl; and other relatives.
A private family service for Jerry will be held and he will be laid to rest at Grand View Cemetery, Marquette. A celebration of Jerry’s life for friends and family is scheduled for Jan. 5, at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Appleton. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be given to Emmanuel United Methodist Church.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 181 S. Main St., Markesan, is honored to be serving the family. You may send private online condolences or sign the family’s guest book at www.cstonefs.com.