Gerald "Jerry" Roland Menzel
January 22, 1942 – October 7, 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
Military Funeral Honors
Great Lakes National Cemetery
Celebration of Life Memorial an Luncheon
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Watermark Bar and Grill
Gerald "Jerry" Roland Menzel
October 17, 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.
October 16, 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