Tuesday, October 6, 2015
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Please join the family for a time of visiting and refreshments.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Park Village Pines
2920 Crystal Lane
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Garold “Jerry” Pomeroy was a positive, hard-working man with a gentle presence and a laugh that could fill a room. The combination of patience and quiet contemplation figured prominently in his life as a husband, father and grandfather. He always encouraged and never complained. His common mode of operation was: sit back, think, make a decision and get to work. Jerry modeled a life of responsibility in his career, love for his wife, involvement with his children and grandchildren, and joy in the simple pleasures of life.
Garold was born in Plainwell, Michigan on February 5, 1930 just months after the U.S. stock market crash that sent the nation into economic depression. Yet families managed to make life pleasant by their resilient spirit and hopeful outlook. One such family, Grant and Letha Pomeroy, raised Jerry and six other children—Kenneth, Charles, David, Ray, Roy and Mary—with a diligent work ethic that motivated Jerry throughout his life.
Jerry attended Plainwell High School, where he took up the sport of boxing and won a Golden Gloves Award in 1948 in the lightweight division. He went on to become an Army Paratrooper and served in the U.S. Army-Battery C 88th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battalion. His service earned him the Parachute Badge that sealed his patriotic pride. Throughout his lifetime, Jerry cultivated great respect for the Bald Eagle and accumulated a large collection of eagle memorabilia that symbolized American freedom.
A growing recreational pastime during Jerry’s youth was roller skating, with the roller rink becoming a place to socialize and make new friends. It was at the local roller rink that a young woman by the name of Marajane Kik caught Jerry’s eye. They developed a friendship that gradually grew into love and commitment. The couple married in 1954 and continued to enjoy roller skating during their early years of marriage.
Jerry and Marajane welcomed three children into their hearts and lives—Douglas, Bethany and Maralee. Jerry seemed perfectly suited for parenthood with his quiet nature, patient character, encouraging attitude and humorous antics. He loved to crack jokes and tease, but he could also be composed and serious. One of his notable sayings, “Do you really want to do that?” was more than a cautionary question. It was a means of teaching his kids to think carefully and act responsibly. When they made a good choice, he would say, “Your mom would approve.” When they became discouraged, he would tell them, “Stick with it, you’ll get it” and when they did, he praised them with “There you go!” In particular, Jerry encouraged daughter Bethany with her art and poetry, and when she was practicing piano, he wasn’t far away. If she became frustrated, he would sit next to her with his guitar and start playing to calm her down so that she could focus better. It worked for Bethany, and the two of them were enriched in their time together. One of her most memorable times with her dad was the day he helped her buy her first car. Bethany loved the car and the experience, and Jerry knew how much it meant to her.
Jerry was a self-taught guitarist who thrilled to play on the original 1966 Gibson that Marajane bought for him. He got better and better each jam session he had with his siblings at birthday celebrations, Christmas gatherings and family reunions. Among Jerry’s favorite stylings were country western tunes and music by The Gaithers. Jerry was also a NASCAR enthusiast whose favorite driver was Bobby Labonte. Sunday afternoons often found him leaning toward the TV to point and shout, “There goes Bobby Labonte!” At quieter times, Jerry worked on paint-by-number pieces and tuned in to nature shows on National Geographic and Animal Planet to warm his animal-loving heart.
As a family, the Pomeroys often spent summer vacations in a rented cabin on Gun Lake in Wayland, Michigan with friends Joyce and Dave. Jerry also liked to fish and was eager for his children to learn the sport. On a trip to Irons, Michigan, he taught Bethany to put a worm on a hook by first warning, “This will be messy.”
In his working career, Jerry was with International Paper Company for 16 years before moving to General Motors as a press operator. He worked for GM for 26 years, and when he retired in 1992, Jerry kept busy repairing lawn mowers and snow blowers. Handyman Jerry had always tinkered in his garage on one project or another from refinishing furniture to fixing small engines.
When they retired, Jerry and Marajane vacationed in Panama City, Florida, sometimes with their friends the Hendersons. They rented a place for 3-4 months of winter and thoroughly enjoyed walks along the beach or out to the pier. Jerry also liked to rent a bike and ride to his heart’s content. At home, he could be seen riding around the neighborhood with his beloved dog Puggles in the basket of his bike. If ever a pet adored her master, it was Puggles. She would race from window to window to see where he was when he was outside, and inside the house, Jerry would get down on his hands and knees to talk to Puggles and play with her. Whether he was at home or in Florida, Jerry mowed his lawn every two days because it “needed it,” whether or not growth was visible to the average person. However some of those same people benefited from Jerry’s enthusiasm, because he mowed the lawns of several others in the park and took care of the leaves in the fall.
When Jerry became a grandfather, he couldn’t be happier because he absolutely loved babies—any and all. Especially when they were his own grandchildren, Jerry was overjoyed to spend time with them. As the kids grew and were able to play board games, Jerry was right there on the floor with them. He laughed a lot, particularly when granddaughter Rachel was playing checkers with him and insisted that the red pieces went on the red squares and the black pieces on the black squares. A true highlight of Jerry’s later years was reconnecting with his two grandsons, Brad and Scott, who had been placed in adoptive care early their lives. It meant the world to Jerry to have a chance to build a relationship with his grandsons.
Garold (Jerry) Pomeroy, 85, enjoyed the past 18 months living at Park Village Pines Assisted Living. He passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 3, 2015, following a brief hospitalization.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife, Marajane Pomeroy on February 26, 2002; his son, Douglas Pomeroy; daughter, Maralee Pomeroy-Vincent; and grandson, Scott. He is survived by his daughter, Bethany Pomeroy; daughter-in-law, June Pomeroy; granddaughters: Jerri Moon and Rebecca and Rachel Pomeroy; and grandson, Brad. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Tuesday, October 6th from 11 AM-1 PM at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler - Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900), where services will begin at 1 PM. Please visit Jerry's personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of him and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Park Village Pines.