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Gerald Vernal (Jerry) Stuart


1923 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Gerald Vernal (Jerry) Stuart Obituary
Gerald (Jerry) Vernal Stuart, 93, of Blackfoot, Idaho passed away Thursday, March 2, 2017 comfortably and peacefully in his bed at his home. His wish was to not be in a hospital or nursing home at the end…and he wasn't.
Jerry was born at home in Chubbuck, Idaho on Dec. 14, 1923 to John Edward and Belle Brigham Stuart, who were farmers. He was the third son of six children and spent his childhood helping around the farm. His home and farmland was located where Tastee Treat, Avalon Apartments and the subdivision west of that area are now in Chubbuck.
He learned from a young age the importance of hard work. He remembers when his Dad would find him not doing the chores, and would chase him across the field with a whip and every time the whip would crack he would jump. Hard work was rewarded, though, with the freedom to do some of the things he loved to do like hanging out with his two closest brothers, Leland and Jordon, waterskiing down the canal by horseback, driving to Blackfoot to the rollerskating rink and chasing girls, and going to Downata Hot springs and swinging from the hoops.
Jerry joined the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in the Signal Corps in Texas for a short time before receiving a medical discharge.
He married Evah Elaine Daniels of Blackfoot (Mighty Dan's sister) on Nov. 11, 1943 and for the next 25 years they lived in various locations throughout Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Montana. Together they had six children: Diana, Cliff, Craig, Jeff, Dale, and Pam. They were later divorced.
He married VaLoy Kelstrom on March 28, 1970 in Portland Oregon. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple in 1974. VaLoy had two children of her own; Cheryl, and Elden whom were brought into the marriage. Together Jerry and VaLoy had a son, Jerry Aaron. They lived in Portland until 1973, when they moved to Chubbuck. Over the next 20 years or so they lived in several locations including Moreland and Soda Springs Idaho, and Spring City and Hurricane Utah. They moved back to Blackfoot in 1989 when they became empty-nesters.
Jerry loved operating heavy equipment and took up running crane and dragline from the beginning of his career as he helped to build the Palisades Dam. These were the days before the hydraulic excavator! He loved what he did and was very good at it. He worked for Teeples and Thatcher in the Portland area for many years. He loved running a dragline (a crane with a clam shell bucket) on demolishing large buildings. He worked on a crane to erect dams, bridges and other structures throughout Oregon, Washington and Montana.
After retiring from EG&G in 1985, Jerry was involved in many hobbies and activities. He loved to build and fabricate homes. He was known for building a "porch onto a porch onto a porch"! He became interested in woodcrafts and he and VaLoy spent a lot of time at craft fairs displaying and selling their homemade wood crafts and other items that they built.
Jerry played a large part in his son Jerry Jr.'s business from 2000 until 2013 and shared his talents and expertise in running heavy equipment on various jobs in SE Idaho. One of the things he loved to do most was demolition. He was involved it tearing down the Riverside Inn Motel (the big green motel that used to stand where Radio Shack and Burger King are now). He also tore down the apartments across from the Bingham Memorial Hospital in preparation for the Hospital Addition. He tore down many homes over the years. And even when he was 90, tore down a home in Pocatello which was videotaped and would have been on a home remodeling TV show if the client hadn't gone belly up.
Jerry was a member of the LDS Church and was heavily involved in family history and temple work and had a strong testimony and conviction of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He served in many capacities in the church and loved to meet and greet people. He had such a sense of humor and was always making people laugh. He loved to pop his teeth out at his grand kids and tell every one about the "dog bone" in his jaw!! He was always very generous with his children, grandchildren, friends and even complete strangers. He would often see missionaries or friends in a restaurant and anonymously buy their dinner.
Jerry lived for two things…….His love of work and his "Lovely" wife VaLoy who he unexpectedly lost in 2010. Ever since then he has been looking for a "bucket" so he could "kick it" (so he could be with her)!! He finally got his wish and is happy holding her hand and rejoicing in their union once again.
He is survived by his children: Cliff (Bow) Stuart of Thailand; Diana (Art) Chesterman of California; Craig (RaeJean) Stuart of Blackfoot; Dale (Carla) Stuart of Riverside; Pam (Fred) Jones of Provo, Utah; Cheryl (Steve) Beal of Eagle Creek, Ore.; Elden Stuart of Salt Lake City, Utah; and Jerry A. (Rosemary) Stuart of Blackfoot; a sister, Gloria (Cliff) Zielke of Arizona, twenty-seven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, VaLoy; his parents; a son, Jeff Stuart; and brothers Lloyd, Leland, Bruce, and Jordon.
A funeral will be held in his honor at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Mar. 11, 2017 at the Blackfoot 3rd Ward LDS church building on Sexton St. in Blackfoot (across from Walgreen's) The family will meet with friends and relatives from 6-8 p.m. at the Hawker Funeral home on Friday evening, Mar. 10, and again on Saturday morning from 10-11 a.m. before the funeral. Interment will be at Grove City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning News on Mar. 8, 2017
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