Thomas Jerry Donaldson Jr. peacefully passed into Heaven on July 1, 2019. He was 95 years old and lived life to the fullest. Jerry was the second youngest of seven children born to Lena and Thomas Jerry Sr. on George Washington’s birthday in 1924. That probably explains why he loved cherry pie so much.
Jerry was a very hard worker. He started out shoveling coal in the train yards of Hannibal for 50 cents per ton and worked alongside his dad setting pins in the local bowling alley. Jerry grew up and graduated from Hannibal High School and had many interesting careers and hobbies from being a milkman to busting his knuckles in the Ford garage and drag racing on the back roads of Marion County for fun in between. That eventually led him to becoming a repairman for D9 Caterpillar bulldozers.
He met and married the love of his life 67 years ago. He and Katie would meet after she got off work at the telephone company. Rendezvous were planned during his interrupted long-distance telephone calls.
When Jerry moved his family to Prescott in 1967, Katie transferred to the local operator services of Mountain Bell and he went to work for Prescott College in its original location at what is now Embry Riddle. He then worked for Yavapai College as it was just getting going. The family rarely missed a Roughrider basketball game in those days. He eventually went on to manage several private contracts with the telephone company enlisting the help of his daughters to keep the phone booths and different locations in top-notch condition. Jerry spent many weekends taking the family camping with the Prescott Camper Coach Club and took nearly every summer vacation to campgrounds throughout Arizona and Colorado. There was nothing like trick or treating at the campers in the circle or Easter egg hunts on the beach at Lake Havasu. Many meals were provided care of Jerry’s fishing pole during those trips.
Jerry and Katie retired to spend summers managing campgrounds in Dolores, Colo., fishing, playing cards and having a grand time with friends as they passed through. Later, Jerry spent countless hours in his wood shop providing custom homes for all kinds of birds in the Chino Valley area. Jerry loved a good joke and was never without his pipe.
Jerry is now in Heaven with his two oldest daughters, Sharon and Neysa. He will most sorely be missed by his wife Katie, his daughter and son-in-law Leisa and Todd Geiler, and his brother and sister-in-law Dave and Linda Logsdon and their children and grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews. Leisa and Katie want to send heartfelt appreciation to all of the wonderful staff members at Kindred Hospice and the caring nurses and nursing assistants at Marley House. Thank you all for being such a gentle and loving presence for Jerry! A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at First Southern Baptist Church of Chino Valley, 1524 N. Highway 89, in Chino. Jerry would have liked you to donate to the church’s building fund in lieu of flowers. Arrangements were entrusted to Hampton Funeral Home.