Gerald (Jerry) Ray Widner, 84, died early Monday evening, June 5, 2023, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, surrounded by his beloved family.
Jerry was born January 23, 1939, in Burbank, Calif., to Ray and Beryl (Nicholson) Widner. In addition to California, the family moved frequently and lived in Oregon, Missouri, Colorado, and Kansas, among other states. Jerry attended San Fernando High School (California) and graduated in 1957. That same year, Jerry met the love of his life, Eleanor (Ellie) Birdt. The two were married on April 27, 1958, and they spent 60 happy years together.
The young couple moved to Colorado Springs, where they raised their three daughters and spent the rest of their lives. Throughout his adult life, Jerry was a business owner in various industries, including automotive and glass. He even earned his real estate license.
A true outdoorsman, Jerry loved hunting, fishing, and boating. He led guide trips in Canada and Colorado and also had his pilot’s license. He also loved tinkering in his workshop and was always working on a project. He spent the last several years building a model boat and pyramid. When he wasn’t tinkering, Jerry was likely watching Westerns on TV — much to the chagrin of Ellie — or telling and writing stories. His true pride and joy, though, was his family, and he was the happiest when with his loved ones. Everyone he met always said he was the “nicest guy.”
Jerry is survived by his three daughters, Lisa Herhold of Denver, Kelly Moore of Haines City, Fla., and Laura Lear (Nathan) of Colorado Springs; one grandson, Jarrad Weber of Haines City, Fla.; three granddaughters, Sarah Lear of Spokane, Wash., Julianne (Liam) Brizee of Reesville, Australia, and Kristen Herhold of Washington, D.C.; four great-grandchildren, Alexis Dillard, Caiden Egen, Sydney Rodriguez, and Amelia Nelson of Spokane, Wash.; two step-grandchildren, Todd (Jasmine) Lear of Colorado Springs and Courtney Lear of Colorado Springs; three step-great-grandchildren, Alaera, Layton, and Hiro Lear of Colorado Springs; several nieces and nephews; and many other family and friends whom he loved dearly.
Jerry is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ellie; his parents, Ray and Beryl Widner; brother, Daniel Widner; grandson, Justin Weber; son-in-law, Donald Herhold; mother- and father in-law, Louis and Beatrice Birdt; and brother-in-law, Michael Birdt.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be placed in Jerry’s name to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
There will be no public services.