Jerry VanderVelde of Cedaredge, Colo., died on June 21 at his home with his wife and two daughters at his side. He was 82 years old and lived a rich and full life. Jerry was a husband, a father, an uncle, a grandpa, a brother and a friend to everyone. He knew how to have fun and how to make people laugh. No one was ever a stranger to Jerry for very long, as he made friends with everyone he met, including waitresses and fellow train travelers.
He was born during the Great Depression in 1934 and grew up in Chicago, joining the family trash business at an early age. He worked hard his entire life all the way through his 70s, and started several businesses along the way. He was adventurous and fun-loving and the conversation never lagged when Jerry was around. He enjoyed starting discussions and engaging in the spirited back-and-forth of a good healthy argument.
Jerry had lots of interests. He played 16-inch softball as a young man in Chicago, taking up basketball and golf later on. He joined a bowling league and was proud of his high scores. He learned to ski and camp as an adult, and loved his adopted state of Colorado with a passion. He appreciated waterfalls, mountaintops, and the high desert, along with hummingbirds and wildflowers. Even into his late 70s, he loved spending time in the juniper and pinyon trees surrounding his log home, cutting and stacking wood for the coming winter. Music was in his blood and the stereo was always on at his house and in his car.
Jerry loved life and was a kind and generous man. He shared his opinions, his money, his time, and his big heart with anyone he came into contact with. Once you met him, you were a friend and he'd do anything to help you. He was an amazing husband and a dad and grandpa who played happily with his children and grandchildren.
He lived well and he will be missed by his survivors: his wife Jane VanderVelde; daughters Shari and Sandi VanderVelde; son Rich VanderVelde; step-daughter Cindy Martin; stepson Darren Lowe; mother-in-law Marie Snow; sons-in-law Kent Snowbarger and Arvind Bhatti; six brothers and sisters; and his grandchildren, Lindsey Lowe, Jamie and Justin Galey, Camron Roberts, and Kira Bhatti.
A memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Saturday, July 16, 2016, at Cedaredge Community United Methodist Church, with Rev. Joe Ajne officiating. A reception will follow at The AppleShed.
Memorial contributions can be made in Jerry's honor to HopeWest Hospice, P.O. Box 24, Delta, CO 81416.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the online obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.