Cover photo for Gerard Paul “Jerry” Gidley's Obituary
Gerard Paul “Jerry” Gidley Profile Photo
1927 Gerard 2001

Gerard Paul “Jerry” Gidley

February 26, 1927 — February 6, 2001

Gerard Paul “Jerry” Gidley has died.

A “giant” of a man and a leader in the community, his love of life, intelligence and humor will be missed by all who knew him.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Jerry will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, 2001, in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, Plymouth.  The Revs. Father Anthony Gillespie and Fr. Expedito Muwonge will officiate. Friends are invited to visit with the family on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2001, in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., from 3 to 8 p.m.  A Rosary service will follow at 8 p.m. led by Sr. Melanie Rauh.

Jerry died of heart complications at 12 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2001, in St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Plymouth.  He was 73 years old.

He and his wife, Shirley, lived at 9739 Sunnyside Drive, Plymouth, coming from Chillicothe, Mo., in 1966.

Born on Feb. 26, 1927, in St. Louis, Missouri, he was the only son of Bertha Marie Paul and Frank Stephen Gidley.  He was raised with five older sisters: three survive.

He attended St. Joseph’s Grade School and graduated from Bonne Terre High School in 1945 and started school at the University of Missouri before joining the United States Army.  He spent two years in Japan while in the service.  He returned to his education while serving in the Reserves.  He was later recalled to active duty in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict.

He was extremely knowledgeable about history, particularly World War II, the battles and equipment used by the United States.

Jerry attended the Mineral Area College where he was inducted into the Honor Hall of Fame.  He graduated from the University of Missouri in 1950 with a degree in Finance.  He also received degrees from the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in 1958 and the Northwestern University Trust School in 1960.

On June 11, 1955, Jerry and Shirley Anne Menard were married in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bonne Terre, Mo.

A banker for 35 years, Jerry began his banking career as a field examiner for the Federal Depositors Insurance Corporation covering Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.

He then worked for the Bank of Bloomsdale, Mo., as a Vice-President.  In 1959, the Gidley’s moved to Chillicothe, Mo. as a Vice-President he initiated the trust department of Citizens National Bank.  His mentor was Edgerton Welch who he greatly admired.

In 1966, in a gentleman’s agreement and handshake with O.C. Carmichael, Jr., Jerry became the President of the Marshall County Bank and Trust, Plymouth and simultaneously served as President of the Bremen State Bank until his retirement in 1985.   He later was named to the Board of Directors of the 1st Source Bank’s of South Bend and Plymouth.  In 1987, Jerry was asked to head the Pioneer Federal Savings which he did until his second retirement in 1991.  From 1985 until 1987, he also worked as the Downtown Redevelopment Director, filling in for Walter Glaub, Sr.

A civic leader, Jerry was active in numerous capacities, including acting as president and manager of the Board of Public Works in Chillicothe.  He served as president of PIDCO and the Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Park Board during the time they built the Plymouth swimming pool.

Jerry was past President of Ancilla College’s Board of Directors, a member of the American Legion Post #27 and a member of the Marshall County United Way and the Plymouth Country Club.

His memberships also included the Plymouth Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs and a lifetime membership in the Moose Lodge #741 and Knights of Columbus Co. # 1975

Jerry also had a private side.  He was a devoted family man and loved to attend the sporting events of his children and grandchildren.  He was a woodworker, building furniture.  Each member of his family has a remembrance piece handmade by Jerry.

He loved animals and was always bringing home injured rabbits and birds to nurse back to health.

Jerry was a great story-teller and enjoyed regaling his friends and family with stories.  He was a  golfer, hunter and fisherman.

Jerry is survived by Shirley, his devoted wife of 45 years, and by their two sons and their families.  They are Plymouth residents; Mark James and Deborah Gidley and their children, Matthew Albin, a cadet, 3rd class at the Air Force Academy, and Shannon Kathleen, a freshman at Plymouth High School; and Timothy Brian and Cheryl Gidley, and their son, Eanan Brian, all of Tower Lakes, Illinois.

Three sisters also survive: Rosamond Moore, Betty Hill and her husband  W.W., all of Bonne Terre, Missouri and Stephanie Gaffney and her husband Jack, Venice, Florida.

Jerry is the Godfather to numerous nieces and nephews who survive as well.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Loretta Ward and Winifred Bryar and by his beloved mother-in-law, Edna Menard.

An additional visitation will be held from 10 – 11 a.m.  on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2001, in the Sparks Funeral Home, 11 South Long Street, Bonne Terre, Missouri.  A funeral Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. in the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Bonne Terre, Mo.

Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bonne Terre, Mo.

Memorial contributions in Jerry’s memory may be made to the WWII Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. or charity of the donor’s choice.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gerard Paul “Jerry” Gidley, please visit our flower store.


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