Jerry Stortz

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 1:45 pm

Jerry Stortz, 80, of Decorah, died Monday, March 16, 2015, at the Patty Elwood Center in Cresco. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 21, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Phillip Gibbs and Rev. Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg officiating. Organist was Mary Beth Bouska. Cantor was Cindy Schissel. Instrumentalists were Maleah Garwood and Jeff Franzen. Vocalist was Makayla Gates. Special music was “On Angel’s Wings” by Karen Taylor-Good; “Here I am, Lord”     “Prayer of St. Francis”; “On Eagle’s Wings” and “How Great Thou Art.” Lectors were Trisha Stortz and Samantha Bohr. Offertory gift bearers were Zach Garwood, Dawn Bohr and Anita Bohr. Honorary casket bearers were all of Jerry’s granddaughters. Casket bearers were all of Jerry’s grandsons. Military rites at graveside were by veterans’ groups in Decorah. Interment was at St. Benedict Catholic Cemetery in Decorah. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home in Decorah.

Gerald Francis Stortz was born April 14, 1934, the son of Alfred and Nellie (Walsh) Stortz on the family farm northeast of Decorah. Jerry attended country school through eighth grade and graduated from Decorah High School in 1952. He was active in band, with a special passion for the trumpet. He was honored to play in trumpet trios at the Dorian Music Festivals at Luther College. Jerry voluntarily served in the United States Marine Corps from Dec. 8, 1953 to Jan. 24, 1956. He completed a six-month tour of duty in South Korea. Upon returning home from the service, he farmed the family farm with his parents. He was united in marriage to Ruth Nordheim of Decorah at St. Benedict Catholic Church Sept. 3, 1960. This marriage was blessed with five children: Kathryn, Debra, Randall, Susan and Heidi. In addition to farming, Jerry enjoyed his years as a custodian at Decorah High School and selling real estate in the Decorah area. He had a strong work ethic, and always took pride in the work he did and his relationships with people. Jerry enjoyed amateur radio, sprint car races, model rockets and remote-controlled airplanes. He had a passion for tinkering and fixing things, especially electronic items. He took great pride and pleasure in being able to help his children and grandchildren with projects. His greatest love, above all, was spending time with family. He was a lifelong member of St. Benedict Catholic Church.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Ruth Stortz; five children: Kathryn (Jay) Uthoff, Decorah, Debra (Mike) Schacherer, Decorah, Randall (Theresa) Stortz, Decorah, Susan (Marinus) Mlady, Cresco and Heidi (Kevin) Bohr, Ossian; 21 grandchildren: Megan (Nathan) Walker, Andrew (Jennie) Uthoff, Matthew Uthoff; Samuel, Maleah, and Zachary Garwood, Travis and Nicholas Schacherer; Derrick (and friend, Carley) Stortz, Dustin (Erica) Stortz, Darren (and fiancée, Lizzy) Stortz, Trisha (Cody Reicks) Stortz; Kara (Tim) Brunkhorst, Courtney (Nathan) Hansel, Brittany (Travis) McIntyre; William, Dawn, Samantha, Anita, Trevin and Ella Bohr; eight great-grandchildren: Adam, Tenley, Reese, Christian, Ian, Natalie, Ashlyn and Coleson; one sister, Marilyn Reicks, Gentry, Ark.; brothers- and sisters-in-law: Merton Fairchild, Canton, Minn., Phyllis and Jim Nesteby, Decorah, Ellen and Bud Aasum, Mabel, Minn., Evelyn and Mervin Vatland, Wautoma, Wis., Kenneth and Gloria Nordheim, Decorah, Robert and Doris Nordheim, Neenah, Wis., Ardith and Dean Nierling, Decorah; along with many special nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Nellie Stortz; son-in-law, John Garwood; grandson, Greg Mlady; granddaughter, Hope Bohr; brother- and sister-in-law, Charles and Norma Stortz; father- and mother-in-law, Wallace and Ulah Nordheim; and sister-in-law, Shirley Fairchild.


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