Jerry Oxenford, 76, passed away at home surrounded by his family on July 29, 2022, from complications of cancer. Jerry was born September 6, 1945, in Carroll, IA. He was the oldest child of Velma & Dean Oxenford. Jerry grew up in Scranton and Carroll, IA, raising hell and having fun with friends and family, especially cousins—lots of cousins!
Jerry graduated from Kuemper High School in 1963 where he enjoyed sports, debate, and theater. He worked for his Uncle Burl in the summers and has many crazy stories from those years. He attended his freshman year of college at Creighton University on a baseball scholarship. Sporting two black eyes from a recent game, Jerry first met Susanne Cotteleer at a school dance, and the rest was history. Jerry transferred to the University of South Dakota-Vermillion for his second year. Sue followed a year later and they were married in Barrington, IL on January 21, 1967. Jerry served in the Air Force from 1966-1970 which took them to Colorado. After the Air Force, both Jerry & Sue returned to the Chicago area where Jerry worked as a delivery boy for his father-in-law and confirmed that he was a small-town boy at heart. In the summer of 1970 Sue & Jerry purchased a mobile home and moved to Iowa City where they both attended the University of Iowa to complete BS and Masters’ degrees (Go Hawkeyes!). While there, Jerry worked as a motel handyman. After graduation, the young couple moved to Humboldt where Jerry worked as Controller for his uncle’s road construction business. In 1975 Jerry got his pilot’s license, purchased a plane with some friends, and also purchased and ran a sporting equipment business. Jerry and Sue started their family in Humboldt and later moved to Platteville, WI where Jerry taught finance at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, achieving the titles of Professor and Professor Emeritus.
He enjoyed teaching, golfing, fishing, friends, and most importantly, his family. Jerry was a beloved husband, father, Papa, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Some of his family’s favorite memories are pig piles during Sunday football games, boating, grilling out, Sunday evening Disney family movies, family vacations, card games and how Jerry and Sue always made their house a welcoming place for friends to gather. While not shy about sharing his opinion, he was often sought out for his reliable advice. He was known for his hearty laugh, avid love of reading, enjoyment of all things golf, and his steadfast love of family.
When he retired from teaching in 2005, Jerry & Sue moved to Georgia for about 10 years where they enjoyed golf, the lake and continued to make memories with family and friends. In 2012, Jerry successfully beat cancer and numerous complications. In 2015, Jerry & Sue returned to Platteville where they have enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and being closer to all of their children. In 2017 the entire family celebrated Jerry & Sue’s 50th wedding anniversary during a family trip to Florida, complete with a renewal of vows.
In early 2022, Jerry was again diagnosed with cancer. Along with his family, he embraced what he once referred to as his “Farewell Tour.” He planned and went on trips, visited with friends, welcomed family visits, and played games whenever he was up to it. He was determined to make as many new memories as he had time for, preferring for his loved ones to think of his final months as a gift.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, brothers-in-law Joe and Tom Cotteleer, sister-in-law Lonnie Cotteleer Perrelle, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He is survived by his wife Sue of Platteville, WI his favorite daughters Mindy of Asbury, IA, Christina (Phil) Burr of Platteville, WI and Stephanie of Davenport, IA, his grandchildren Caden & Ze’Niyah Burr, his siblings Denny (Deanna) of Omaha, NE and Patty Ryan of Mesa, AZ, sister-in-law Marilyn Cotteleer of Antioch, IL as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins, and grand-dogs.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 AM, Monday, August 8, 2022, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Cuba City, WI. Chapel military rites will be accorded by American Legion Post #42 and VFW Post #5274. Inurnment will be at 5:00 PM, Monday, August 8, 2022, at Calvary Cemetery, Platteville, WI. Friends may call from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, Sunday, August 7, 2022, at the Melby Funeral Home & Crematory, Platteville, WI where there will be a Scripture wake service held at 12:30. Friends may also call on Monday from 9:00—9:45 AM at the church. Online condolences can be made at www.melbyfh.com.
Jerry would like to thank all friends and family who have been a part of his life. In particular, Jerry would like to thank the love of his life, Sue, who has embodied unconditional love for over 55 years, in good times and through many trials and challenges. His family would also like to thank the family, friends and medical and spiritual providers who visited, reached out and offered support and prayers during the last several months.
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