Jerry Gingerich, 94

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Jeremiah "Jerry" Gingerich, 94, of Bruneau, died Sept. 3, 2005, at the home of his son, Verlin, and daughter-in-law, Ella, also of Bruneau.

A celebration of his life will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at the American Legion Hall in Bruneau. Arrangements are under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, Mountain Home.

He was born April 23, 1911, in Parnell, Iowa, to Christian and Mary (Zehr) Gingerich, and was the oldest of four children.

He met his life companion, Letha Slatter, at Hesston College, Hesston, Kan., and the couple married May 2, 1937.

He taught in country schools in Kansas and Iowa from 1938 to 1943.

In 1943, when his father-in-law was near retirement, they moved to Filer, Idaho, to take over the family farm. In 1963 the family moved to Bruneau to farm and ranch.

Jerry had a life long interest in farming even during the last days of his life. Other than farming, his great interest was doing voluntary service for numerous charitable organizations. Letha was his constant companion on those humanitarian trips, which took them to diverse locations across the United States and abroad. He always encouraged others and helped the down and out.

"He was never too busy to visit with anyone," his family said. "He was frugal in living, but generous in giving."

Jerry often said he wanted to die on the ranch, not in a nursing home. His children granted his wish by caring for him at home during his final days.

He is survived by: his wife, Letha, of 68 years; his six children, sons, Verlin and his wife, Ella, Rudy and his wife, Colleen, all from Bruneau, Donell and his wife, Frances, of Nampa, and Kermit and his wife, Clydene, of South Korea, and his daughters, Dolores Brubaker and her husband, Ervin, of Pocatello, and Mary Beth King and her husband, Loren, of Suffolk, Va.; one sister, Ruth Miller and her husband, Max, of Wellman, Iowa; 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Jerry was preceded in death by a sister and two brothers.

Memorials can be made to the Mennonite Board of Missions c/o Rost Funeral Home, 240 N. 4th East St., Mountain Home, Idaho.