Gerald D. Dafoe Sr.


Gerald "Jerry" D. Dafoe Sr., 76, of Traverse City, passed away on Friday, June 7, 2019 at his home.
Jerry was born on Aug. 15, 1942 in Traverse City to the late Herman and Johanna (Morio) Dafoe. He married the love of his life, Kathryn "Kay" Lewis, on Aug. 15, 1974 in Traverse City.
Jerry had a passion for cars. He was a great driver and loved to drag race.
His love for cars led him to a career in the automotive field. Jerry had been employed with several area dealerships, including Waples, Traverse Motors and Bill Marsh. He worked in all aspects at the dealerships, but his favorite was detailing and prepping the cars for the showroom, the lot and most importantly, new owners.
Jerry was a soldier in The Salvation Army; he was very proud to be the welcome sergeant for the Traverse City Salvation Army. He was a true people person; he had a great sense of humor and loved to talk with people. He was a man of integrity and would end most conversation with "God bless you."
Among his other interests, he enjoyed riding his motorcycle, boating and snowmobiling. Above all, spending time with his family was his greatest joy.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Kathryn; two sons and daughter, Jerry D. Dafoe Jr., Gary Dafoe and Sarah (Paul) Johnson. Also surviving are grandchildren, Darius, Aubrie and Caiden Johnson.
A memorial service honoring Gerald will take place at 1 p.m., with visitation starting at noon, on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at The Salvation Army, 1239 Barlow St., Traverse City, MI 49686. Major Dawn Russell will officiate.
Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial donation to The Salvation Army, 1239 Barlow St., Traverse City, MI 49686.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Gerald's family at his tribute page at
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on June 12, 2019
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5 posts

Natalie Thompson (Przybylski)
Jun 19, 2019
I am so sorry to hear of Gerry's passing. I had many great memories of him working for Hertz when I worked there years ago- he was always so sweet, kind, had a great sense of humor, and was always so willing to help. He will be missed - my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Him and Howard Lake were my power team!
Steve Francis
Jun 14, 2019
It was an honor and pleasure to know and work with Jerry. He was a man I admired and loved, and I will always remember how he was unfailingly glad to see me. He went out of his way to make everyone feel immediately comfortable. While I did not know that Jerry was the Traverse City Corps Welcome Sargent, it makes perfect sense to me now. I will miss seeing his great smile and receiving his warm handshake. I take heart knowing he has been Promoted to Glory and look forward to being welcomed by him just one more time in Paradise.
Pam Roop
Jun 13, 2019
Jerry I just remembered you always being so nice and friendly. Always happy funny and loved your laugh. You always had a story. You will forever be missed but never out of so many hearts. God bless
Jun 12, 2019
Jerry was a great man and wonderful human being.He was always a joy to talk to and always had a story from the past growing up in TC.Rest in peace
Bob,Jan, and Jayme Phelps
Jun 12, 2019
Sorry to hear about Jerry's passing, lots to remember about Jerry , all good times, years gone by. we will keep all of Jerry's family in our prayers.