Obit: Opelt, Jerry Max (1928 - 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Opelt, Crockett, Quicker, Burr, Douglas, Erskine, Vivian, Rosandich, Erickson

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) 5/28/2014

Opelt, Jerry Max (5 May 1928 - 22 May 2014)

Jerry Opelt, 86, of Neillsville died Thursday, May 22, 2014, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield.

Jerry Max Opelt was born May 5, 1928, at home in the Town of Levis, Clark County, the son of Max and Lillian Irene (Crockett) Opelt. He attended grade school in Shortville and graduated from Neillsville High School in 1946. He then went to college in Eau Claire for one year. He was united in marriage to Fay Quicker Oct. 16, 1948, at the United Methodist Church in Granton.

They lived in Neillsville, and Jerry worked for Trimberger’s Implement dealership in Granton, the telephone company and A & P store, both in Neillsville. He then began working as a sales person at the local JC Penney’s. While working for them he was transferred to Hibbing, MN, in 1959, and it was then that he decided to open his own business. So they moved back to Neillsville and owned and operated Skogmo’s Department Store from 1961 to 1979. After closing the store, Jerry worked as a car salesman for Urban’s until retiring at the age of 62.

For many years, Jerry and Fay were members of the United Methodist Church in Neillsville. Most recently, there were members of the United Methodist Church Merrillan. Through the years, Jerry was very active in the church, with a focus on music, even serving as the choir director for many years. He was a charter member of the Men’s Club in Neillsville. He was a member of the Kiwanis for 25 years. He served on the Dewhurst Town Board and was on the board of the Neillsville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Hatfield Sportsmen’s Club. He was past master, area representative and still an active member of the Masonic Lodge and was recently given an honorary membership in the Black River Lodge.

Jerry’s passion in life was music; he played both the saxophone and clarinet, formed his own band for a few years, played in the Neillsville Community Band in the 70’s and 80’s and was a member of the Clark County Male Chorus. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing and bowling (he and Fay were members of the couple’s league in Neillsville for 20 years). He also enjoyed golfing, reading, gardening and feeding is birds.

He is survived by his wife Fay; two children, Lyn (John Burr) Opelt of Madison and Larry Opelt of Minneapolis, MN; three grandchildren, Megan (Todd) Douglas of Ft. Collins, Co, Dolin (Laurel) Erskine of Madison, and Mackenzie (Randy) Vivian of Madison; three great-grandchildren, Livia, Sabrina and Kya Vivian; and one brother, Michael (Judy) Opelt of Milltown. He was preceded in death by a son, Lance; his parents; one sister, Arlene Rosandich; and two brothers, John Opelt and Douglas Opelt.

A memorial service for Jerry will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at the United Methodist Church in Merrillan. Pastor Meg Erickson will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Masonic Lodge Service Friday at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for designation at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at  The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Jerry’s family with funeral arrangements.



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