Jerry E. Gunderson
Jerry Ellen Gunderson, 95, died April 10, 2022, at her home in Wausau, in Hospice care.
She was born December 29,1926 to Evie and Gus Ruether, in Columbia, Missouri. Jerry was a big sister to two brothers, Bob and Mike. The family settled in the tiny town of Glasgow, MO, on the banks of the muddy Missouri River.
Jerry attended and graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. While there, Jerry met and married Robert Whitacre Gunderson. After graduation the two moved to Wausau, WI, where Bob began his long career at Wausau Insurance.
Jerry knew she wanted to be a mom from an early age…and wow, was she good at it! The couple raised three girls: Karen (Dennis, Broomfield, CO), Krissten (Nanda, Minneapolis, MN) and Kimberly (Bend, OR). Jerry devoted endless hours to sewing, knitting and supporting the activities of her girls—well into their adulthood. Grammie loved spending time with her 6 grandchildren: Jennifer, Jon, Tess, Emma, Aaron and Cameron and 5 great-grandchildren: Lauren, Morgan, Indira, Simone and Zahra. Each of her grandchildren has received one of Grammie’s beautifully knitted sweaters.
Jerry was a seriously good friend to many. She was a beloved member of a sewing and knitting club for more than 50 years, as well as another group of fun-loving friends who held an annual “Cookie Party”, making 12 dozen holiday cookies to exchange.
Jerry loved costume parties through the years. She created so many incredible costumes for Bob, their daughters and herself.
A few years after Bob died, Jerry started taking ballroom dance lessons. She was very lucky to meet Ray Kraemer, who would become her dance partner and good friend for
20+ years. Then, when Jerry was 78, she was set up on a blind date! Happily, she was able to find love again with this wonderful man for the next 13 years.
Throughout her long life, Jerry was a dedicated volunteer in her community. Organizations dear to her heart were: League of Women Voters, the UU Church, Meals On Wheels and the YWCA. Jerry was integral in starting curbside recycling pick-ups in Wausau. She believed in and supported efforts to further peace and social justice. Jerry appreciated the diversity of the world and was always an accepting and welcoming individual.
What a FABULOUS Woman!
We will miss you dearly, Jerry.
A Celebration of Life for Jerry will be held June 11th, at 2:00, in the atrium of the Universalist Unitarian Church, 504 Grant St., Wausau.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Neighbors’ Place, Hospice, Habitat For Humanity or any charity of your choice.