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Jerry attended Thornfield R-1 School and was a member of the first consolidated graduating class in the 1956-57 school year. He went on to graduate from Gainesville High School in 1961. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery, Aug. 11, 1966, following his graduation from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a degree in business and public administration. On Oct. 1, 1966, Jerry and Nancy Louise Friedrich were united in marriage in Boonville, Mo., and to this union two sons were born.
Jerry served in the US Army for 26 years. His service included two tours in Vietnam, Germany, the Pentagon and other stateside assignments. During his service in the military he received numerous medals and citations including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (2nd Award), The Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), and the Vietnam Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars just to name a few.
Jerry was also inducted into the Brotherhood of The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, United States Field Artillery Association. He retired from the military in 1992 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He returned to Ozark County where he and Nancy built a home on the family farm. Upon his return, he became active in the community, serving as a board member for the White River Valley Electric’s Operation Roundup program from November 1993 to September 2004. Jerry also served on the Thornfield School Board from April 1999 until his death.
He took great pride in the Thornfield School, its faculty and staff, and its students and their accomplishments. He would frequently volunteer his time for projects in and around the school and enjoyed offering advice to many of the area students.
In addition to his work in the community, Jerry loved playing golf. In 2010, he won first place in the Men’s B Division of the National Retired Military Golf Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Jerry was a lifelong MU Tiger fan. He also enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals, and either entertaining or harassing his grandchildren depending on what he felt they needed.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy; his two sons and their spouses, Brian and Alesha Wallace, Kansas City, Mo., and Kevin and Susan Wallace, Overland Park, Kan.; five grandchildren, Adam, Julia, Ethan, Devin and Cameron; one brother, John Wallace and wife, Carolyn, Ava, Mo.; sisters-in-law and their spouses, Marilyn and Pal Adkins, Linda and Bill Sterling, Boonville, Mo., Joyce and Dick Van Den Boom, Muncie, Ind.; brothers-in-law, Butch and Judy Friedrich, Boonville, Mo., Kent and Marcheta Friedrich, Wooldridge, Mo., Margie Friedrich, Boonville, Mo., as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. They will miss him dearly.
Funeral services for Jerry will be held on Friday, May 18, at 2 p.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, with burial in the Thornfield Cemetery with full military honors by Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. Visitation will be Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home. The funeral officiant will be Rev. Jim Kyle. Memorials may be made to Hospice Compassus, Mountain Grove, Mo., or Thornfield Public School in Jerry’s memory.
Online condolences may be made to www.clinkingbeardfuneral home.com.