Gerald "Jerry" Thunker, age 83, of Crofton, Nebraska, passed from this life peacefully on Sunday, March 5th, 2017 in Yankton, SD, accompanied by the love of his family.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Crofton, NE with Reverend Timothy Podraza officiating. Cremation will follow the Mass and burial will take place at a later date. Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday, March 10, 2017, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church with a vigil service at 7:00 PM. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Crofton.
Pallbearers are: Brian Thunker, Mike Thunker, Kurt Tangeman, Lucas Abler, Alex Tramp, and Parker Poppe. Honorary pallbearers will be Jerry's grandchildren and great grandchildren, the Crofton Volunteer Fire Department, and the Crofton Knights of Columbus.
Gerald "Jerry" Anthony Thunker was born on his family's farm west of Crofton to William and Leona (Bruns) Thunker, January 11th, 1934. The eldest of five children, Jerry started from humble beginnings and went on to accomplish much for his family, his friends and the Crofton community. He married the love of his life, Georgie Ann Backman, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wynot, NE on December 28th, 1954 and together, they raised four children.
Upon graduating from the 8th grade, Jerry worked as an electrician's apprentice in Hartington, NE but soon took a construction job at the Gavin's Point Dam Project near Yankton, SD. A horseman all his life, Jerry rode to work and stayed at a boarding house during the week, returning home by horseback each Friday. Following his work on the dam, Jerry was employed by Norb Bogner at the original Bogner's Station until purchasing the Standard Oil Company service station in Crofton. There he operated Jerry's Standard Service as a filling station, repair shop and towing company for many years. He then went on to serve Knox and Cedar County farmers as a salesman with Moorman's Feed until his retirement in July of 1993, but kept busy with his hobby farm on the edge of Crofton. Never one to sit around, Jerry continued to work part time at Creighton Livestock Market, Stockman's Livestock Market and Yankton Livestock Market until fully retiring at the age of 80. He is recognized for his service with the Crofton Volunteer Fire Department, Crofton City Council, Knights of Columbus and St. Rose of Lima Parish, where he helped to establish a fundraising dinner by his contribution of the Thunker family's original recipe for sausage, which continues as the annual event's featured menu item.
Jerry enjoyed life to the fullest; always willing to help others with generosity beyond measure, and although he knew the fair price of everything, he understood the value of friends and family was priceless. Young children knew the depth of his kindness and the sincerity of his gentle heart. His jovial character earned Jerry many lifelong friends, each of whom would recall his good-natured pranks and practical jokes. He had many varied interests and talents including stock car racing, camping, bowling, cards, hunting, fishing, woodworking and gardening. He played the drums and loved music and dancing. His grandchildren will never forget deer hunting, April Fools pranks, homemade salami, buggy rides, miniature ponies and one crazy goat.
He is survived by his wife, Georgie, a son, Dale (Terri) Thunker of Yankton, and three daughters, Debbie (Joe) Tangeman of Bloomfield, Del Rae (Todd) Abler of Remsen, IA and Denise "Dee Dee" (Rodney) Tramp of Crofton. Siblings include, Darnelle (Mike) Braunsroth of Pleasantdale, NE, LaVonne (Francis) Mueller of Crofton, Vernon (Lorrie) Thunker of Kalispell, MT and DeeAnn Phipps, Omaha, NE. His legacy includes grandchildren Kristy (Jamie) Poppe, Sioux Falls, SD, Trisha (David) Dohn, Sioux Falls, Brian (Kristi) Thunker, Yankton, Mike (Kendra) Thunker, Omaha, NE, Kurt (Kylie) Tangeman, Yankton, Tiffany Leonard of Clearwater, FL, Tracy Leonard, Omaha, Lucas Abler, LeMars, IA, Ashley (Travis) Ekeren of Lincoln, NE, Alex (Kelsey) Tramp, Crofton, Emma (Michael) Hofer, Omaha, and sixteen great grandchildren.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, a sister-in-law and her husband, Glendora and Alvin Wieseler, one brother-in-law, Joel Phipps, and one godson, Tim Mueller.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on.
May it comfort you and easier to bear knowing there are others who understand and care.
Mike, Darnelle, Gail Braunsroth
Georgie and family, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Jerry was a great guy! You are all in our thoughts and prayers!
Ken & Mary Thunker
We are sad to hear of Jerrys passing Clete recalls some fun times with Georgi and Jerry We both wish Georgi and the family sympathy.
Clete and Anita Gentrup
I am so sorry to hear of your loss.It's hard to understand why our loved ones are taken from us. Take comfort in knowing you All were a Special part of his life.
Sympathy to all of Jerry's family and friends. I did not know all of the family, but I did have the good fortune of knowing (and am thinking of you ) Dee Dee and Rod, Dale and Terri, and LaVonne and Franny. May the peace of God be with all of you.
Dale, Terri and family, we are so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great guy.
Chuck & Rose Mutziger
Georgie, Dale, Debbie, DelRae, DeeDee and family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Jerry was a staple of Crofton and will be missed by many.
Joe and Katie Hansen family
Our sympathy to you and your family. Thinking of you Deb.
Stan and Judy Thompson
Georgie and family -
So sorry for your loss(es) this week ... please try to be strong and know Glenny and Jerry are in much better place. You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
Brad, Jodi (Keegan) and Nathan List
So sorry to hear of your loss. May you find your comfort in friends and one another. It is always difficult to say goodbye to those we love. God's peace be with all of you.
Glen and Donna Hoesing
Georgie, Deb & Family
We are out of state and unable to attend Jerry's services, but please know we extend our heartfelt condolences to you all.
Pat & Barb Birmingham
To the family of Jerry, My dad Mike Merkel talked of Jerry when he would tell me all his Crofton stories. Dad has been passed for 12 years and sure he has welcomed his old friend with open arms. May you find comfort in knowing he is with our Lord Jesus.
Our sincere sympathy to all family members. He was well loved and lived life to the fullest. God's loving and comforting peace be with you.
Deanna & Dave Uhl
Rest in Peace. Fond memories of walking to country school and being neighbors. Walk now with Jesus.
Jeanette Kube Lammers
Send your Sympathy Message