Jerome John “Jerry” Hungerford, age 76 of Alma, WI died at his home Friday, June 16, 2017 after a battle with cancer.
Jerry was born on April 27, 1941 in Red Wing, MN to Fred and Rita (Glaus) Hungerford, Jerry’s first home was in Ellsworth, WI until his parents purchased a farm on the bluff above Maiden Rock and moved the family there. He went to Maiden Rock School through 4th grade, Saint John’s in Plum City through 8th grade and graduated from Plum City High School with the Class of 1959. College at the University of Wisconsin River Falls followed where he earned his degree upon graduation in 1965.
Jerry married Lorena Anibas on August 22, 1964 in Lima, WI and together they had three children: Chris of Alma, WI, Denise of Los Angeles, CA and Kevin (Trinity) of Alma, WI.
Jerry’s first job out of college was with Cargill seed in Minnesota and Iowa, which lead to the couple’s move to Eldora, IA and then to Iowa Falls, IA before moving to Alma, WI in 1969 where he was General Manager of the Farmers Union Co-op servicing Alma, Nelson, and Modena, for 26 years. After retiring from the Co-op he went on to discover his true calling, the job of a lifetime as a school bus driver. Jerry drove school bus for the Alma School District for 16 years and loved every second, from the early morning pickups to the afternoon rides home. He took every opportunity to drive “his kids” to sporting events, field trips, and music contests. Transporting students was only part of the job for Jerry. Getting to know them, watching them grow, encouraging them, and treating them to Halloween and year-end treats was what truly kept him at the wheel all those years.
Throughout his life Jerry was an active member of the St. Lawrence Knights of Columbus as well as the Alma Rod and Gun Club. He held various positions of leadership in both groups.
He found great joy in the simple things in life: the beautiful view from his home, the various birds that he and Lorena keep well fed; a hard day’s work followed by a cold one, driving the local country roads, cheering for the Alma-Pepin Eagles, spending time with family from near and far, good friends, sweets and being with his bride of 52 years either at home or travelling on a cruise ship.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Rita Hungerford; his brothers, Edward and Frederick; and nephew, Stephen.
He is survived by his wife, children and two grandchildren Katrina and Gideon; sisters-in-law Betty Hungerford of Hudson, WI and Mildred Hungerford of Staten Island, NY; brother-in-law Don Anibas of Durand; sister-in law and brother in-law Dorothy and Joe Pertz of Stillwater, MN; many nieces and nephews, and all of his students.
Visitation will be held on Thursday June 22, 2017 at St. Lawrence Church in Alma, WI from 4pm-7pm. Visitation will continue the following morning, Friday June 23, from 10am-11am followed by a funeral mass at 11am and burial at Alma Memorial Cemetery. A Celebration of Jerry’s life will then take place at the Alma Rod & Gun Club.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jerry’s name may be made to Mayo Clinic Cancer Research or the Alma Rod & Gun Club. Either would be a wonderful way to remember Jerry. https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donate.
Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.