Jerry Wildhaber photograph
Jerry Wildhaber

Dec. 4, 1941-Jan. 26, 2023

Jerry Wildhaber, 81, of Houston, Mo., passed away peacefully in his home on Jan. 26, 2023. His family is saddened but blessed by his life and memory.

Jerry was the oldest of 13 children of Robert and Esther Wildhaber and was born in Pontiac, Ill. He grew up learning to farm and enjoyed the simple comforts of living the country life. When he was still a child, his family bought a farm in Raymondville, Mo., and relocated. It was there he stayed, attending Houston High School, before enrolling in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completing his basic training at Camp Pendleton in southern California he was stationed in Quantico, Va., and assigned to the HMX-1 helicopter squadron. Here he was tasked with prepping and maintaining the various elements of Marine One in service of the president and vice president of the United States. Jerry was very proud of his military service and would gladly talk about it with all who would listen.

Upon his honorable discharge from the Marines, he returned to Missouri where he began his career as a truck driver, something he would continue to do his whole life. In the late ’60s he met his former wife Jan and would later have two children Jerry Jr. (Jamie) and Jodi.

Jerry always stayed busy. Even until his later years he was always about working in his wood shop, mowing his massive 8 acre yard, or driving from place-to-place visiting family or helping someone. He prided himself on building things. Christmas and birthday gifts were often something he made in his shop rather than something he bought at a store.

Jerry devoted a lot of his post-military service time to the American Legion Post 41. Many Saturday nights were spent calling their weekly bingo sessions. Most mornings found him at the Eatin’ Place in Houston where he had his breakfast and would socialize with the locals.

He was always giving of himself: Building birdhouses to give away, making someone a sign, building a book case or a table. He always had a project going that was going to the benefit of someone else.

He is survived by his son Jamie of Roxana, Ill.; daughter Jodi of Ballwin, Mo.; two grandchildren Grayson and Jada; and 10 siblings.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Freddy and sister Vicki.

Cremation services were performed by Evans Funeral Home.

Memorial services are to be determined for a spring/summer date. Online condolences may be left at Arrangements entrusted to Evans Funeral Home, Houston.


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