Died on January 15, 2020. He was born on February 23, 1950 in Flint, Michigan. Jerome graduated from Birmingham Groves High School in 1968. Jerome was awarded a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Science in Business from Western Michigan University (WMU). His years at WMU coincided with the U.S. war in South East Asia and awakened in him a life-long commitment to informed engagement in politics and public policy. Jerome traveled widely in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the American west, and Canada during hitch-hiking, motorcycle, and fishing trips. Jerome taught school briefly before becoming employed in the nursery and greenhouse business in Michigan and Indiana. In 1993 he founded Total Lawn Care and operated the firm until 2017. Jerome's customers appreciated his commitment to the highest standards in lawn care. Few questioned whether he deserved the "employee of the year" award Jerome bestowed upon himself annually. His commitment to social and economic justice was evident in the mentorship and assistance he gave to others. Jerome cultivated the art of conversation and formed a vast network of friends and acquaintances from every generation and walk of life. He was an advocate for those that could not always speak for themselves; children, the disabled, the elderly and animals. Jerome is survived by his loving wife of forty-three years, Mary Denaway-Root, his mother, Florence Root of Grand Blanc, Michigan, sister, Lisa (Andrew) Marshall, and nieces Katy and Laura. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Marcia (John) Johnson and niece, Cody and brother-in-law, Edward Denaway. Jerome was predeceased by his father, Jerome L. Root. Jerome enjoyed a strong rapport with the seven dogs he raised over the years. German Shephard, Pal, was his "Dog of a Lifetime." A memorial gathering will take place Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 1-4:00 PM at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries or SPCA of Southwest Michigan. Please visit Jerome's personalized online guestbook at https://www.langelands.com.