Chesterton Tribune



Gerald William Peck, 75, dies

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015, Gerald William Peck died after battling with diabetes, heart and kidney disease. At his death he was 75 years of age.

Jerry, as he preferred to be called, was born on June 26, 1940 to Ernest Peck & Mabel (Uthe) Peck in Boardman, a small farm-town in Morrow County, Oregon where his family lived. Growing up Jerry was active in the Future Farmers of America, and played football, basketball, track and baseball. He also worked in his mother’s restaurant, the M&M Cafe, and gained his entrepreneurial spirit from her. Jerry would run several of his own businesses during his adult life Đ a cafe in Dallesport, WA, gas stations in Pendleton, OR & Boardman, OR - as well as managing several restaurants for others over the years. He would also serve a term of enlistment in the Oregon Army National Guard. From his father, he learned his love of boats and being on the water. One of his first jobs was on the Columbia River working on tug boats, and he later served in the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Jerry married Kayrn Heald of Tacoma, WA on March 17, 1962 in The Dalles, OR. Their marriage lasted for 30 years, during which they raised four sons. While living in Boardman, Jerry was active in community and civic activities. He was a boy scout leader, little league coach, and helped lead community events such as parades and the annual Fourth of July fireworks. Jerry served on the Morrow County School Board seven years, then two terms (8 years) as Mayor of Boardman and two terms (8 years) as Morrow County Commissioner.

Very proud of the accomplishments of his family, Jerry often bragged “my great-grandfather was a farmer who couldn’t sign his own name, my grandmother never wed and only had 6 months of schooling, my dad never finished high school, and I only had one year of college, but my sons have six degrees among them, and are a computer engineer, a teacher, a manager, and a career Army officer.” After his divorce in 1992, Jerry traveled and spent several years working a variety of ‘odd jobs’, from running mini-marts to selling BBQ grills. In 2007 Jerry retired and spent his time traveling and visiting family. His last few years were spent living in Porter County, IN.

Jerry’s passion was sailing ships. He had the opportunity when younger to travel to many ports to visit restorations and replicas - once even hiring on as an extra hand to get to sail. He sailed on ships in the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. During his family years, Jerry owned two different ski boats, and spent as much spare time as he could on the river near his home. Later, in his retirement, he enjoyed riding on paddle-wheel boats on the Cumberland, Ohio, Mississippi and Columbia Rivers. During his last few years, when travel was not possible, Jerry enjoyed building model ships as a hobby, taking months to complete such intricate works as the sailing ship Cutty Sark, and the paddle-wheel boat King of the Mississippi.

Jerry is survived by one sister, Shirley Zielinski of Boardman, OR, his four sons: James Peck of Las Vegas, NV, Robert Peck and his wife Mary of Vancouver, WA, Michael Peck & his wife Regina of Kennewick, WA, Daniel and his wife Barbara of Fairfax, VA and their mother, Kayrn and her husband Duane Hinkley of Ukiah, OR, as well as seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one sister, Ernabel Mittelsdorf and their parents. While not formally religious, Jerry was a firm believer in religious principles, and tried to live his life by the lines of his favorite poem: Desiderata. In the end, he was “at peace with God”. Jerry will be cremated and his remains returned to his hometown in Oregon. Send condolences at Arrangements are under the direction of White-Love Funeral Home, Chesterton, IN.


Posted 8/24/2015




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