The reason I call Jerry a brave man is because he kept going against all odds. At the age of nine years old, Jerry was struck down by polio and became a paraplegic. Before that he was a normal kid living on a farm. I can't even imagine how difficult it was for Jerry and his family.
I didn't meet Jerry until middle school, but I remember he always had a smile on his face. Jerry loved sports and while in high school he lettered as a manager of the football team. He graduated from
, and he attended the Lawrence
High School . He left the university because it wasn't
wheel chair friendly at that time. University
He became an amateur radio operator joining the Lawrence Amateur Radio Club, and he enjoyed taking part in their Field Days. His call letters were WA0OWH. He was asked to join a committee to discuss how best to help those with disabilities, and Jerry made many suggestions to help people get around in his situation.
Jerry worked as a computer lab instructor at Independence, Inc, where he had completed several business courses in computers. Technology was his friend, and he made use of voice-assisted technology. Jerry lived next door to his parents and for the last ten years next door to his sister.
The other heroes in this real life story are Jerry's parents who stood by him all his life and let him become as independent as he could be. His sister, a distinguished scholar and professor at
gave up her profession to
live next door to her brother for the last ten years of his life. There are numerous cousins and friends who
were there for Jerry, too. Fort Hayes
Goodbye, Jerry, you were an inspiration for the rest of us. We'll be thinking of you at our 50th class reunion. You'll be missed. Thank you for all the hard work you did on the class reunion committee.
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you next Sunday.