Gerald "Jerry" passed away peacefully with his loving wife and children at his side the morning of Sept. 14, 2017. Jerry was born Dec. 1, 1938 in Taylor, son of Melvin and Ruth Milatz.
Throughout his life Jerry was an active athlete and avid sports fan. Jerry started as quarterback at Marshall High School and then at Ferris State University, where he won Bulldog of The Year his senior year. He would later coach Little League Baseball where he passed along his ideals of sportsmanship and respect to the young players.
As an ardent University of Michigan fan, Jerry rarely missed a Saturday game and many Sundays found him cheering on the Detroit Lions. During the summer the Tigers were his team. Later in life Jerry found a new passion for golf and played on several leagues. Even with his zest for sports, family always came first and many extended weekends were spent fishing with his sons and camping with the family.
Jerry graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in pharmacy and practiced as a registered pharmacist for six years. He then took a position with the Upjohn Company as sales representative where he won several sales awards during his 26-year career, retiring in 1993.
Jerry was a generous man and donated a large amount of his time on earth to many causes and service organizations, including the Boosters Club and Kiwanis (was Golden K president from 2006 to 2007).
Jerry's was indeed a life well lived. He will be dearly missed and remain a role model for his children and many of those who knew him.
Jerry is survived by Karen, his devoted wife of 57 years; his children, Amy (Keith) Avery, Greg and Jerry (Karen); and six grandchildren.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Ruth; stepmother, Elizabeth; and siblings, Janice and stepbrother, Gary.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at The Presbyterian Church, 701 Westminster Road, Traverse City. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.
Those wishing to express their sympathies may send flowers or make a memorial contribution to The Presbyterian Church, Traverse City, or DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust.
Published on September 22, 2017