Ward Jerome “Jerry” Wilhelm, 70, a resident of Garden Court West Apts. since 1996, died, following an extended illness, at 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, 2001. A 50-year resident of Plymouth, Jerry died in St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Plymouth.
Born on Oct. 11, 1930, in LaPorte, Ind., Jerry was the son of Ward Harlan and Katherine Cecilia Helms Wilhelm. When he was three years old his father died and his mother later married Daniel Edward Haley who raised the young boy as his own.
He attended Knox schools and in 1948 graduated from Grovertown High School.
On April 15, 1950, in Holy Cross Catholic Church, Hamlet, Ind., Jerry and Betty J. Harness were married. Betty survives his death.
Jerry had operated the Mobil Oil Bulk Plant and more recently owned and operated the B & J Coffee Service from 1972 to 1992, servicing Marshall and Fulton counties.
For 45 years, starting at the age of 13, he played brass in jazz bands around the county. He was a talented trumpet and trombone player and was a member of the “Rhythm Aires,” a popular local band.
A gregarious and friendly man, he drove stock cars and played golf. He was a bowler, an expert clay skeet shooter and he enjoyed playing cards.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council # 1975 and belonged to the Plymouth Elks and Moose Lodge 741.
Jerry is survived by Betty, and two daughters. They are Linda M. and Ed Trump and Nancy J. and Jerry Bowman, all of Plymouth. Four grandchildren, Brenda M. Miller, and Brian J. Trump of Plymouth, Amy J. and Angie S. Bowman both of Indianapolis, Ind. and one great-grandson, Daimen Allen Trump of Plymouth also survive.
Two half-sisters Mariann Gappa, Orland Park, Ill. Beverly Haley, Bass Lake and a half-brother Daniel Haley, Michigan City, also survive.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, his step-father and a grandson, Brad Allen Trump.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 30, 2001, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31, 2001, at St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church of which he was a member. Father Anthony Gillespie will celebrate the funeral mass.
Interment will be in New Oakhill Cemetery, Plymouth.
Memorial gifts in Jerry’s memory may be made to Mission 2000 of St. Michael’s Church.