Alexander Funeral Home-West Chapel

2100 West Illinois Street, Evansville, IN


Jerry A. Canterbury

March 1, 1930January 9, 2020
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Jerome A. “Jerry” Canterbury, 89, of Evansville, Indiana, passed away on Thursday, January 9, 2020. He was born on March 1, 1930 in Akron, Ohio to Richard and Mary (Stinchfield) Canterbury.

Jerry was quite an all‐around athlete at Reitz High School. He became Evansville’s first Cross Country Champion in 1947. He led the city in scoring in basketball during the regular season of his senior year at Reitz. In track, he not only broke the city record for the mile run in 1948, he never lost a mile race, other than in the State Track Meet his Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years, where he finished 5th, 4th and 3rd, respectively.

After graduating from Reitz High School in 1948, Jerry went on to play basketball for Arad McCutchan at Evansville College (U of E) on a basketball scholarship. He was a 3‐time letter winner, graduating in 1952. In 1989, he was honored to be inducted into the U of E Athletic Hall of Fame. While at Evansville College, Jerry met the love of his life, Bernice Marak. They were married on June 7, 1952. From 1952‐1954, Jerry was a member of the U.S. Army at Camp Gordon in Augusta, GA where he served as an MP and was able to play on Camp Gordon’s traveling basketball team. Jerry went on to earn his Master’s Degree from Indiana University.

In 1954, he began his teaching and coaching career at Grayville High School in Grayville, IL. Jerry returned to Evansville in 1955 and taught at German Township (Cynthia Heights) and Dexter Schools before moving to Bosse High School in 1961. While at Bosse, he served as a teacher, track coach, and basketball coach, with his most success coming in the sport of basketball. In his first year at Bosse, he served as an assistant coach with the 1962 boys state championship team. He continued as an assistant in boys basketball until he took over as head coach of the girls basketball program in 1977. Over the next fourteen years, he amassed a record of 196 wins and 72 losses including 8 City titles, 7 SIAC titles, 7 Sectional titles, 5 Regional titles and 1 Semi‐State title, earning a birth in the final four in 1984, all during the single class basketball system. During his summers off, Jerry enjoyed working at Ellis Park as a cashier where he became friends with many co-workers and patrons.

Jerry was a man of faith and was a member of Forest Hills Wesleyan Church. In addition, he was active in the R-Men Varsity Club, the Quarterback Club, and was a charter member of the Huddleback Club. Jerry and Bernice loved to play Bridge and played with the same couples for 50 years.

Jerry was devoted to his family and enjoyed attending his grandchildren's events. He was a very loyal person and remained close to numerous high school friends and colleagues even to this day.

At family events, Jerry was the main source of entertainment. He was always introducing new games and riddles to baffle the new members of the family. He enjoyed making homemade wine, attending to his roses, and growing his “famous tomatoes” to share with friends and family.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elizabeth Karns.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Bernice; daughters, Debbie Virgin (Gary), Judi Raben (James), and Jodi Zeller (Bryan); son, Kevin Canterbury (Amy); grandchildren, Kendall (Kevin), Brittney (Jim), Blair (Brandon), Jordan (Kristen), Blake (Lindsey), Alex (Haley), Courtney (Daniel), and Kiersten; great-grandchildren, Kaiden, Kole, Lou, Barrett, Owen, Adelyn, Braylon, Hudson and Charley; sister, Louise Nichols (David); brother-in-law, Rev. Donald Karns; and nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Solarbron Terrace, Deaconess 4th Floor Staff Tower D, Hamilton Pointe Staff & Administration, and Deaconess Hospice for their loving care. They would also like to thank Dr. William Hardesty for his many years of care and friendship.

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 13, 2020 at Alexander Memorial Park Heritage Chapel officiated by Rev. Gene Backes. Burial will be private at Alexander Memorial Park. Friends may visit on Sunday from 1:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. at Alexander West Chapel and on Monday from 10:30 a.m. until service time at Heritage Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to R-Men Varsity Club (a scholarship organization), P.O. Box 6071, Evansville, Indiana 47719, Forest Hills Wesleyan Church, 2801 Claremont Avenue, Evansville, Indiana 47712, or St. James West United Methodist Church, 3111 Hillcrest Terrace, Evansville, Indiana 47712.


  • Bernice (Marak) Canterbury, Wife
  • Debbie Virgin (Gary Virgin), Daughter
  • Judi Raben (James Raben), Daughter
  • Jodi Zeller (Bryan Zeller), Daughter
  • Kevin Canterbury (Amy Canterbury), Son
  • Louise Nichols (David Nichols), Sister
  • Rev. Donald Karns, Brother-in-law
  • Richard Canterbury, Father (deceased)
  • Mary (Stinchfield) Canterbury, Mother (deceased)
  • Elizabeth Karns, Sister (deceased)
  • Jerry also leaves behind his grandchildren, Kendall (Kevin), Brittney (Jim), Blair (Brandon), Jordan (Kristen), Blake (Lindsey), Alex (Haley), Courtney (Daniel), and Kiersten; great-grandchildren, Kaiden, Kole, Lou, Barrett, Owen, Adelyn, Braylon, Hudson and Charley; and nieces and nephews to cherish his memory.


  • Visitation Sunday, January 12, 2020
  • Visitation Monday, January 13, 2020
  • Funeral Service Monday, January 13, 2020
  • Private Burial Monday, January 13, 2020


Jerry A. Canterbury

have a memory or condolence to add?

Greg Dyer

January 13, 2020

My sincere condolences, Coach Canterbury was very special to me. Greg Dyer Bosse 1974.

Norma and Ron Faust

January 12, 2020

You have our prayers and sympathy.

Paul Hanks

January 12, 2020

Mr. Canterbury was my driver's ed instructor at Bosse High School. I remember him as a fine and caring teacher, who always took great interest in his students, as well as someone who always had a great sense of humor, and a winning smile. To his family I offer my sincerest condolences, and wish you God's comfort and peace at during this time.
Paul R. Hanks
Bosse High School, Class of 1970

Vicki Lander

January 12, 2020

Coach Canterbury was very passionate about his coaching duties. There was one day in practice that we just were not doing what we were supposed to be doing and Coach C got mad and kicked the basketballs that were on the ground in the bag. The next day he comes to practice on crutches because he broke his toe. You know someone is truly passionate when they will go as far as to break bones for you . Although Coach C would get angry with us he never kicked another basketball again.

Dr. Carrie Hester-Terry

January 12, 2020

Dr. Carrie Hester-Terry

January 12, 2020

To the Canterbury Family,
First, I would like to thank you for sharing Coach Canterbury with us. I recognize even more now how much family time he sacrificed during all of his years of coaching, especially during the four years he coached and mentored me.
I also want to thank you for allowing our team to come to your house each year at Christmas! It was such a blessing to feel like a part of the family.
Kevin, I remember Coach bringing you to practices and games often. He demonstrated the importance of finding ways to incorporate family time within our everyday work when possible...which is one that I’ve replicated over the years as well.
Finally, the most heartfelt memory is of Coach taking me to Murray State University to accept a scholarship to play Division 1 basketball. He believed in me at a point in my life when I didn’t believe in myself.
I celebrate Coach Canterbury’s life with high esteem. Our thoughts and prayers continue as you bid your final farewells on this side to such an amazing man!
Prayers and Blessings!

Dan wood

January 11, 2020

There was never an empty seat in the Bosse teachers lounge when Jerry and Archie were in there. They always kept us entertained with their stories. I still remember how good his elderberry wine was. He would always bring me a bottle. He was certainly one of a kind.RIP my friend.