Gerald (Jerry) Goodman, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a lifelong Billings resident, passed peacefully at home on Dec. 1, 2013.
In his last days he was surrounded by family and friends sharing stories and laughter. He had a deep faith and was looking forward to "going home".
Jerry was born January 26, 1931 on a farm west of Billings to the late Elizabeth (Kessler) and George Goodman. That farm is now part of Yellowstone Country Club.
As a young boy he and his siblings worked hard on the farm. There was fun to be had, too! Jerry rode his horse, Babe, to Shiloh School, where at lunch time they sometimes had mini rodeos. He also flew down the newly paved Zimmerman trail on his bicycle, passing cars along the way.
Jerry was fortunate enough to find a mate with an equal zeal for life. He and Thresa Strong were married July 1, 1951 in Billings at the German Congregational Church. They began their adventures together on the family farm and feedlot on the west end of Billings. Jerry and Thresa expanded their operation to include ranches at Fishtail and north of Livingston and developed the original farm into Goodman Subdivision. The family worked alongside them in these endeavors.
Jerry was a mentor to many youngsters and taught them to work hard while enjoying it. He had a gift for boosting the confidence of those he loved and cared for and made a lasting positive influence on each of them and they on him.
Wholehearted work and play kept Jerry and his family busy throughout the years. If they weren't getting dirty and getting things done, they were off on an escapade. The whole family cut down trees at Luther and built the extended family a cabin on Snow Creek. Jerry and Thresa traveled overseas several times. He would always find a "relative, an old friend or make new ones everwhere they went. The family skied on Grizzly Peak and brought motor boating and waterskiing to Lake Elmo. They ventured to Alaska and fished commercially for sockeye salmon for 8 summers.
Jerry had a circle of wonderful friends that were there for him and he for them in times of need. Sometimes Jerry gave and sometimes he received. Jerry loved his community and gave back to it in numerous ways.
His family and friends gave him the nickname "Mr. Push" because he always wanted everything done YESTERDAY! We learned to love him even when his stubborn streak showed up.
He served on the Shiloh School Board, Billings Ditch Board, Billings Federal Landbank Board for over 20 years and as a Trustee for Shiloh United Methodist Church for over 20 years. Jerry was an enthusiastic participant in the Montana Centennial Cattle Drive.
Jerry shed a beautiful light in the lives of his family and friends. He will be dearly missed, and his memory will be held close to the hearts of many.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Thresa Goodman; daughters, Georgia (Mike) Heffner, Vanessa (John) Bays; grandchildren, Sadie (Seth) Collins, Laura Heffner; Julie (Shane) Southworth; great grandchildren, Michael Collins, Gweneth Collins, and Raelin Hearn; two nieces and one nephew; and several other young people who held a special place in his heart.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings Russell Goodman, Marion Ruspini, Allen Goodman, and grandson, Cody Bays.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Dec. 5th, 11 am at Shiloh United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Shiloh United Methodist Church, Family Services Inc. of Billings, Special K Ranch of Columbus or the