Jerry Triplett

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Jerry Triplett

Winterset

Jerry died Wednesday, August 7, 2013. He was 79.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, August 12th, at the First Christian Church in Winterset with a military graveside immediately following in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery, near Van Meter. A visitation will be held from 1 to 6 p.m., Sunday, August 11th at Ochiltree Funeral Service where family will be present to receive friends from 3 to 6 p.m. Memorials may be directed to the family for later designation. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.ochiltree.com.

Jerry Loyal Triplett was born in Warren County near Carlisle, Iowa on January 19, 1934 to Ralph and Fern (Legg) Triplett. Jerry attended a one-room schoolhouse in Warren County through the eighth grade and graduated from Carlisle High School in 1953. During high school, Jerry excelled as an athlete participating in football, basketball, track and baseball. He also became a talented singer.

Following graduation, Jerry joined the United States Army where he became a Sergeant and served three years in Panama. Following his discharge, he returned to Carlisle to marry his high school sweetheart, Nancy Smith. The couple was married on June 22, 1957 at Carlisle Christian Church.

Nancy and Jerry began their family while Jerry worked his way through college on the G.I. Bill. He served as a pastor for several years but eventually decided to pursue an education degree at Drake University. After receiving his master's degree from Drake, he moved his growing family to Winterset in 1968, assuming the direction of the guidance department in Winterset High School, a position he would hold for over twenty-five years. Jerry officially retired from teaching in 1995 but remained active as a substitute teacher.

Jerry was devoted to his family, church, school and the community. He also volunteered for several years as an assistant cross country coach and many young people will recall how he always would "go the extra mile" to help a young person in need of a listening ear or a helping hand.

He was a member of the Winterset Optimist Club and a featured speaker for many civic organizations. He was also active as a little league and softball coach and a leader for Boy Scouts as well as volunteering with the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Many will recall seeing Jerry jogging, a sport he took up in 1982 when he was 48 because of health concerns. He quickly developed a passion for running and cycling, logging hundreds of miles as he trained for his first marathon at Drake. Since then, he has run 20 marathons, including the Boston marathon in 1994, as well as countless shorter races, garnering a wall full of trophies and medals. In 1984, he accomplished a personal goal of running 50 miles on his fiftieth birthday. He has been a frequent participant in the Iowa Games and in 1994 qualified for the national Senior Olympics by winning the 5-kilometer race. As a cyclist, he has ridden RAGBRAI several times and in the summer of 1996 he joined a group who traveled coast to coast by bicycle in order to celebrate Iowa's Sesquicentennial and promote Iowa tourism. He also completed another unusual goal: visiting all of Iowa's 100 county seats by bicycle.

In all his travels, Jerry was a charming ambassador for Madison County and shared his zest for life with his heartwarming rendition of "God Bless America."

He loved to garden and tend to his backyard miniature golf course dubbed "The Poor Man's Country Club," which has been generously shared with many friends and neighbors. He was a devoted father who was passionate about seeing that his children each obtained college degrees. Jerry was also extremely proud of his many grandchildren and loved spending time with them. Jerry has touched many lives, leaving behind a legacy of faith, joy and unconditional love.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Triplett of Winterset; his children, Chris Triplett (Denette) of Jacksonville, FL; Loyalty Miller (Don) of St. Louis, MO; Dennis Triplett (Eleazar Carrasco) of West Hollywood, CA; Robin Wolfgram (Kurt) of St. Louis, MO; Tracey Triplett (Amy Wootten) of Eureka, MO; 18 grandchildren, Jessica (David), Bethany, Kimberly, Jonathan, Ashley (Dave), Andrew, Allison, Ben, Emma, Caleigh, George, Christian, Jerod, Elizabeth, Aubrey, Gavin, Abby and Declan, and two great grandchildren, Zachary and Oliver.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Jeri Jean Triplett; and his three siblings, Jack Triplett, Robert Triplett and Shirley Collins.

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Funeral Home
Ochiltree Funeral Service & Aftercare
1823 N. John Wayne Dr.
Winterset, IA 50273
(515) 462-4080
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Published in Des Moines Register on Aug. 11, 2013
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