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Berry Funeral Home

3704 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, TN

OBITUARY

Gerald "Jerry" Roland Menzel

22 January , 19427 October , 2019

Gerald (Jerry) Roland Menzel, 77, of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, died on October 7, 2019 in a motorcycle accident while in Tennessee. Jerry was born in Detroit, Michigan, to the late Harold Roland Menzel and Clara Mae Hammond, nee Copple. He graduated from Lakeview High School in 1959, and enlisted in the United States Air Force in June of 1960. He married his wife of 56 years, Shirley Ann, nee Mispelon, on June 29, 1963.

Jerry spent nearly 35 years working for Chrysler, starting his career at Mound Road Engine on 6/6/66, and retiring from the Tech Center in Auburn Hills on 1/1/01. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Wayne State University in the 1990s.

Jerry was a fixture of his “Manhattan” neighborhood for generations. He provided tools, friendship, a helping hand, and advice, whether solicited or not, to everyone, all while walking barefoot in the snow, with a tall drink in his hand.

He enjoyed working in his yard, and was gifted at designing, building, fixing, and rigging anything around the garage, house or yard. He liked helping people. He enjoyed spending time at the cottage he and Shirley owned in Harrison, Michigan, sitting on his seemingly gravity defying swing or piloting his pontoon boat on Cranberry Lake. He loved building and sitting around campfires with friends.

Jerry is survived by his wife and children, his sister Mary Ann Herndon of Sierra Vista, AZ, and his granddaughters, Claudia and Maggie, who were the brightest part of his later years.

Military Funeral Honors will be held at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan, on October 25 at 11:00 a.m.

All are welcome. (Great Lakes asks for no arrival earlier than 10:30) Directions: After entering the cemetery, take the second right. You will see signs to direct to “All Funerals.” Remain in the left lane, and follow signs for Gerald Menzel. Celebration of Life memorial and luncheon will be held at Watermark Bar and Grill, 24420 Jefferson, St. Clair Shores, Michigan, on Saturday, October 26th from 12:00 - 4:00, with a brief service to be held at 12:30.

Online condolences may be made at www.berryfuneralhome.com

Services

  • Military Funeral Honors Friday, 25 October , 2019
  • Celebration of Life Memorial an Luncheon Saturday, 26 October , 2019

Memories

Gerald "Jerry" Roland Menzel

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Mary Ann Herndon

10 November 2019

My big brother was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 7th, riding the Dragon's Tail in Tennessee. His wife, two daughters and I were able to view him one last time in Knoxville. His family took him back to Michigan where he will be laid to rest at a later date. When I say he was my big brother - I mean BIG. He was big of stature, had a big generous heart, a big personality and never met a stranger. He taught me to swim by throwing a ball over my head into deep water and told me to fetch. He babysat me by throwing a ball down 200+ stairs at Dodge Park and told me to fetch. He convinced me to lick a metal clothesline pole in winter because he said it would taste like a popsicle. He could play all kinds of tricks on me but nobody else better be mean to or tease his baby sister. Later in life when I was asked who was the person I trusted most in the world - I said it was him. The memories are endless. Jerry Menzel was a huge part of my life. I will miss you big brother.

Mary Cameron

17 October 2019

Jerry's parents and mine were best friends. I had lost contact with Jerry until a few years ago and reconnected through Facebook. We did a lot of catching up, and I was very happy to again be talking with him. He was kind, thoughtful, gentle and fun, with a WICKED (in a good way) sense of humor! Any who knew him were very fortunate. He had a heart of gold.

I am still in shock about his accident, but now, he rides with the angels.

My most heartfelt sympathy to the entire family.

Ed Laughhunn

16 October 2019

Jerry was big in stature, but his heart was even bigger. If you met Jerry, you made a new friend. I was lucky enough to have met him 25 years ago. My wife's brother,Greg, married his daughter, Sharon. We would get together at family get togethers, birthday parties, and we were known to meet up at classic cars shows and cruises. We both have a love of old classic cars. Him being a retired Chrysler worker and I being a Mopar guy, we always had a common conversation topic. He was a great husband, father, grandfather and to me, a great friend. I will miss his larger than life presence, wit, laugh, advice and most of all, his friendship. The world was a better place with Jerry in it, for sure! I will miss you along with everyone that you crossed paths with. Till we meet again, R.I.P. Big Guy

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY