Gerald Joseph “Jerry” Diemer

Gerald Joseph “Jerry” Diemer

Jerry Diemer, age 69, of Madison, formerly of Beloit, died at home on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Born just 45 minutes shy of being a leap year baby, Jerry leapt into life on Feb. 28, 1948, and kept on leaping. Whether he was called Jer, Diems, Big Jer, Jer Bear, Mr. Diemer, Pops, or Jerry Joe, he shared his enthusiasm for life, as well as his opinion on any issue, with many. He gave people beautiful, fun memories, and would expect all who loved him to “carry on” and “keep pluggin’.” Jerry graduated from UW-Madison in 1970 with a B.A. in English and earned his teaching certificate in English and Spanish in 1971. Too many teachers were looking for work at that time, so he had to forego the classroom, and began to work for Martin J. Schreiber when he served as Lt. Governor and Governor of Wisconsin.

After a lost election, he worked for the Wisconsin Builders Association for more than 15 years, serving as the Executive Vice President. A few other jobs followed, but none as rewarding or important to Jerry as his six years as a Special Education Assistant at LaFollette High School. He was a special person to some very special kids. Jerry loved his children, Graham and Elizabeth, deeply and was so very proud of them. He was the loudest cheerleader at Graham’s high school and college basketball games, and loved watching Lizzy perform in the University of Minnesota Marching Band. Jerry was impressed with their talent, commitment, and focus.

He was an avid, enthusiastic and critical sports fan. Jerry played a mean game of softball and was happy with his golf game. He couldn’t carry a tune, but if you needed to know the words of a song, or the artist, he could tell you. If you needed help writing or editing, Jerry was your man. A voracious reader, he read the newspaper, in its entirety, every day up until a few years ago. At last count, he had 885 books in his “library,” and had read almost all of them before his passing.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 32 years, Julie; his children, Graham of Bonita Springs, Fla. and Lizzy of St. Paul, Minn.; and future daughter-in-law, Kelsey Jacobson. He was preceded in death by his parents, Florence and Joseph Heath Diemer; and parents-in-law, Betty and Herbert Dettman.

A memorial service will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, at 5:30 p.m., on Friday, April 7, 2017. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 3 p.m. until the service on Friday. The family would like to extend a special thanks to his friend and teaching-partner-in-crime, Mike Helstad, who so compassionately helped care for Jerry during the last five months of his extraordinary life.

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Dr.