Monday, November 4, 2019
11:00 AM EST
St Mary's Church
423 First Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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.
Van Andel Institute (Cancer Research)
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Jerry Wright was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His caring ways and generous acts were his legacy to the many lives he touched over the years. A hard worker and a lover of all people, Jerry was a friend to many and a stranger to none. He never seemed to have a hard time meeting new people and making everyone he met feel comfortable in his presence. Jerry leaves behind a warm collection of fond memories for all who knew and loved him
In 1945, just a few months before the war officially ended in Europe, Harold and Marguerite (Schulte) Wright welcomed home the youngest of their five children, a newborn son, Jerome Bernard, born on October 6th in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His birth brought great joy into their hearts and home.
Growing up on 1st Street on the northwest side before later settling on Dean Street, Jerry lived a typical childhood of the times. At a young age, it was easy to see that Jerry enjoyed gaining the attention of others. He managed to get himself into his fair share of mischief over his growing years, Jerry was a well-liked classmate at St. Mary’s school where he attended before transferring to Union High School. An avid reader, English proved to be his favorite subject and reading remained a favorite pastime for much of his life. He also had a strong set of skills in capturing the attention of a room of people by sharing stories mixed with a good blend of reality and his own perception. His larger than life personality made him many lasting friendships during these years.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the woman who would steal his heart forever, Gloria Kops. Meeting through some mutual friends, they began dating and eventually married on January 7, 1967, Eventually they would settle in Wyoming, Michigan where they raised their two wonderful children; Darren and Joee. As a father, there was never a dull moment when he was around. His direct nature could be embarrassing at times and they never knew what to expect. Jerry coached his son Darren’s baseball teams for many years. During the kids’ high school years, he was active in the band boosters at Wyoming Park High School involving himself with many aspects of fundraising every year. He and Darren enjoyed many trips together and Joee was his built-in companion accompanying him on many errands during her youth. Jerry taught them many values in life and loved spending time with each of them.
Talented and easy-going, Jerry worked a wide variety of jobs over the years. With his natural people skills and his gift of gab, being a salesman would probably have paid him well over the years, yet Jerry loved to work with his hands. Starting out as a surveyor, then for a vending company, and some maintenance jobs, he finally landed with Kent County, working at the Department of Social Services on Madison. He remained at this job for twenty plus years caring for the building maintenance inside and out. Whether it was painting, repairing, or landscaping, he ensured that the work was done. Many of these skills he also used around the house. Jerry was always busy with projects, repairs, and maintaining his lawn. He was meticulous about the lawn and landscaping.
When it came to relaxation, Jerry dabbled in refinishing furniture and was an avid reader of biographies, war stories, or westerns. He had a passion for travel, and Gloria and Jerry traveled the world and the United States, including Russia, Mexico, Alaska, South America, and Europe. He had a great love for music from classic to rock and roll. When working outside at his home, he frequently shared his music with his neighbors by having the volume on high. He and Gloria enjoyed wintering in Avon Park, Florida where he enjoyed socializing and became active in the local horseshoe club. Above all else, Jerry cherished the family he so loved. He saved his most affectionate hugs for his grandchildren and enjoyed telling them silly stories. He and Gloria enjoyed spending time with them and sharing in their many successes. Described as charming, full of fun and laughter, and easy to love, Jerry will be deeply missed by his many special friends and family.
Jerome “Jerry” Bernard Wright, aged 74 of Grand Rapids, passed away at his home on Friday, October 25, 2019 with his family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Gloria Wright; his children (and grandchildren), Darren & Sandi Wright (Adrienne, Hudson and Sydney), Joee & Steve Kam (Genevieve and Annaliese); his brothers and sisters, Donald Wright, Thomas (Nancy) Wright, Jean Brown, Marjorie “Ann” Hudson; his sister-in-law, Nancy (Bill) Schultz; many other nieces, nephews and friends. Relatives and friends may meet his family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. on Sunday from 4-6 PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 423 First St. NW in Grand Rapids, on Monday, November 4 at 11 AM. Contributions in his memory may be made to Van Andel Institute for Cancer Research. To read more about Jerry’s life, to sign his guest book, and to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.heritagelifestory.com