Obituary of Jerald Roy Dressel
Jerald (Jerry) Roy Dressel
April 1940 – May 2023
Jerald Roy Dressel (Jerry) was born at home on April 20th, 1940, in rural Minnesota in the middle of a freak snowstorm. As there was no way to get them to the hospital, just over 3lb “premie” spent the first few days of his life in a shoe box in the oven at a very low temperature. Born to Gomer and Agnes Dressel, first-generation German Americans, Jerry grew up in Menominee, Michigan with his younger siblings Donna and Gene (deceased), alongside the mink ranch his father managed. After high school (“premie” ended up a 6 foot over 200Lbs star center on his high school football team) took off across the country with his best friend (Uncle) John Chaltry, funding that adventure by stopping off in bars along the way playing pool (Jerry) and arm wrestling (Uncle John) and relieving unsuspecting locals out of their money. The two landed in Butler, Alabama where they started work at the newly opened American Can Paper Mill.
In October of 1961, Jerry joined the Air Force where he served in the 49th TFW as an Offensive FC Mechanic and traveled the world playing football. While in the Air Force, Jerry returned to Butler where Irene Moody caught his eye at the Dairy Queen. The two dated off and on for over a year and Irene and Jerry married in Butler, Alabama on October 2, 1965. The two welcomed their first daughter Tonya in 1966 and their second daughter, Wendy in 1969 before moving to Brownsville, Oregon where they raised both children. Jerry was a great dad. He loved being a girl dad and each Valentine's would get all three of his girls matching gifts. One year they all got matching pistols (he traveled for work and both daughters lived alone in the big city) which led to a hilarious series of lessons on shooting and gun safety that included yelling, crying, and laughing, and Jerry finally saying, “Well this was a shitty idea.”
While not spending time working and with family, Jerry loved to spend his free time hunting with friends and became an avid golfer, helping to organize the first Cow Pasture Open, a local golf fundraising event that drew contestants from as far away as Guam and raised money for the local fire departments. After moving to a small ranch on Powell Hills Loop, Jerry and a group of his friends bought some Hereford cattle and named themselves "Gentlemen Farmers,” spending Saturdays drinking Rainer beer and rotating the “herd” from one pasture to another. Irene & Jerry spent many nights playing pinochle with friends and could cut the rug doing a mean "jitterbug." Jerry had a quick wit and will be remembered for playing elaborate April Fools jokes on friends, umping/referring baseball and football games, and was quite the gambling man playing a mean game of craps.
In 1988, Jerry & Irene moved to Maine for a new job as a supervisor in a new paper mill. The couple lived there for a short five years and moved to Oklahoma in 1993 where they lived most of the remainder of his life. While in Oklahoma, Jerry became "Papa" to five grandchildren, Jackson, Parker, Brady, Jesse, and Ava who he adored. At 6 ft 200 lbs., Jerry was an imposing figure with steel blue eyes but was a softie when it came to his daughters and grandkids and spent the summers teaching them all to drive in their old white truck, riding around on the golf carts and go-carts, and taking them fishing. Although he had a tough exterior, Jerry was the guy you turned to if you needed a loan or to stick up for a buddy. He was always the first one to cry at goodbyes. Jerry and Irene moved to Colorado years after Jerry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s to be near family, which is where Jerry died peacefully on Tuesday, May 2nd just after his 83rd birthday. We love you so much and miss you dearly.
He is survived by his wife Irene, sister Donna, daughters Tonya and Wendy, and all five grandchildren.
A military service will be held on June 29th, 2023, at 3:15 PM at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver. Staging area “C.”To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jerald Dressel, please visit Tribute Store