Jerry Tegarden
1948 - 2021
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Jerry Tegarden
July 30, 1948 - February 1, 2021
Bellingham, Washington - Jerry Tegarden, musician and songwriter, of Bellingham, WA passed away Monday, February 1st, 2021 at the age of 72. Born in Eugene, Oregon he spent his childhood in Southwestern Washington around Kelso and Longview. He then spent time in the Navy on the East coast. After returning to Washington he worked at a pawnshop where he met the first love of his life, a Gibson Johnny Smith hollow body electric guitar. He came to Bellingham in the early 1970's and like many young musicians started playing at the legendary Kulshan Tavern in Fairhaven. He was well known for leading open mics at Fast Eddie's, The Roeder Home and Mama Sunday's and performed at many restaurants, clubs and taverns. Jerry played electric and acoustic and loved pop, country and blues from the 60's and 70's as well as obscure jazz classics from the 30's and 40's. He got a degree in English from Western Washington University and taught part time Continuing Ed at Bellingham Technical College. A voracious reader, he could have written novels, but chose instead to write short stories...they're called songs. He met the second (true) love of his life in the early 80's. His sweetheart, Rose, became the subject of several of his songs and a line from one of them says it best: "we never lived together, but we've seldom been apart." For the last 37 years his friends were in awe of their relationship. Jerry lived a simple, honest life, never needing or wanting much. He appreciated classic, well-made items. "The only wealth I'll ever have is in the songs I sing." Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Donald and Necia Tegarden and is survived by his brother Bruce (Jan), and his sweetheart Rose Nerad.


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Published in Bellingham Herald on Feb. 28, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
March 1, 2021
So saddened to see this obit! What an interesting, intelligent, talented guy, and a fun and fantastic teacher!!! My heartfelt condolences to his family and many friends!
Pearl Dixon
Student
March 1, 2021
friend from long ago in the music business. rest in peace !
elizabeth ziegler
Acquaintance
February 26, 2021
Jerry and Hiya, she was the queen of the house. She chose him and he saved her. It took a long time for her to except me in “her” house.
Rose Nerad
Significant Other
February 24, 2021
So Rose and Jerry have been together for 37 years! Then Jerry and I have been friends for longer than that! My how time flies. We were jut getting into it, and we could have done even more. Many things will be missed. Every year, Jerry called on Columbus Day and give me his most sincere apology, which I graciously accepted each year. Keep working on that perfect song, Jerry and save us a place on the bench down the path.
Darrell Phare
Friend
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