Dr. Gerald "Jerry" G. Udell
Jerry Udell, 76, of Columbia, MO, passed away July 18, 2013.
He was born September 12, 1936 in Columbus, Wisc. to Roy and Jessie Udell, joining his two older brothers, Foster and Jon. He grew up in Fall River, Wisc. and kept the town on its toes.
After graduating high school, he joined the Army and served in Korea. After being honorably discharged, he attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison, earning his B.S.E. in American History, his M.B.A in Marketing and his Ph.D. in Extension and Marketing. During his Bachelor's program at the University of Wisconsin, Jerry was selected to show then- Senator John F. Kennedy around the Wisconsin campus. The two of them sat in the Campus Union overlooking the lake and enjoyed coffee and discussions of their families.
During this time he met and married his wife of 49 years and love of his life, Karen Diane Koski. Two years later, Jerry entered his favorite role as father with the birth of Scott Foster Udell (married to Gabriele Udell), shortly followed by Kristen Dawn Udell (married to Gary Barnette) and Bethany Brook Udell (married to Richard Stone, II). His career took the family to Eugene, Ore. where he was initially an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Oregon. The family spent 12 happy years in Oregon. It was during this time that Jerry took a break from academics to serve as a pastor at Faith Center. God eventually called Jerry back to the Midwest where he worked first as a professor at the University of North Dakota and later at Missouri State University. During his long career he founded the Innovation Institute, evaluated over 20,000 inventions, published over 40 books and over 100lp articles, served as chief consultant to Wal-Mart by creating the Wal-Mart Innovation Network and Support American Made programs, and testified before several Congressional committees as an expert witness. Jerry and Karen retired to Sturgeon, Mo. in 2009.
In conjunction with his work in innovation and entrepreneurship, Jerry appeared on the Phil Donahue Show and was interviewed on NBC Evening News.
Jerry took great delight in being the "Chief Baby Inspector", no more so than when he got to inspect his Grandkids: Brooke, Vann, Greyson, Liberty, Archer and Nate. Jerry went home July 18, 2013 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, three children and their spouses, six grandchildren, his brother, Jon, and Jon's wife, Susan, his sister-in-law, Caroline, his brother- and sister-in-law, Dave and Gail Koski, and 14 nieces and nephews.
The services were held at Memorial Park Funeral Home in Columbia, Mo. on Saturday, July 27, 2013. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Riggs Union Church (c/o Kathy Nichols, 115 School House Road, Clark, MO 65243) for the cemetery fund or to a ministry of your choice.
Published in the News-Leader on Aug. 4, 2013