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Jerry was born on October 16, 1920 in Kirkland, Illinois.
The doctor arrived via horse and buggy and Jerry was delivered on the kitchen table covered by newspapers. He was the second of seven children born to Carl Hallstrom and Wyla Lucas Hallstrom. Jerry was 14 living on the family farm near Belvidere, Illinois when he learned to drive a Model T Ford.
During World War II he served in the 11th Airborne from 1943 to 1945, seeing combat on Leyte. When asked why he became a paratrooper he said it was because he was paid an extra $50/month!
He met Ruth Koester on a roller skating blind date, and they married on September 8, 1943, for life.
After his army service he learned tool and die making and worked for Western Electric, squeezing in two years of college (night school).
Upon earning a one cent/hour raise, true to form, he put it in the bank, saying he didn’t need the money. For the bulk of his career he was a production engineer for Teletype corporation and solved problems for them.
Jerry and Ruth reared a family in Trout Valley, Illinois, and when the homeowner’s association needed help, he solved problems for them.
One of Jerry’s proudest moments was his 1980 climb of the Grand Teton, and he had the T-shirt to prove it.
After retiring in 1983, Ruth and Jerry moved to Sun City West and proceeded to travel the world. Shortly after arriving he volunteered his time and talents to the community, beginning as a stage hand for the Sun City West Variety Show. These remarkable performances generated more than a million dollars for the Del E. Webb Memorial Hospital. During the first show his job was to move a piano on and off the stage. From that humble beginning he moved on to set design and construction, stage manager, Executive Committee member, and finally Chairman of the Executive Committee, until the last show in 2006. From 1992 until 2008 he designed and built sets and was the stage manager for various productions by Theatre West.
He ran the Platform Tennis group for 20 years and was the Captain of his Bocce league.
Anytime somebody nee- ded something figured out, some problem solved they would “Call Jerry”. Ruth once said, “he is kinda nice to have around”.
Jerry was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruth, and oldest son, Dick. He said he could have quit when Ruth died, but instead decided to live to be 100.
Like most of what he set out to do, he made it. Smiling, he said he had seen so many wonderful things in his life and had watched in amazement as the world changed. Always upbeat, Jerry could make the checker at Safeway smile on the night before Thanksgiving!
Survived by daughter, Jean Lynd; best friend and dedicated caregiver son-in-law, Harold “Butch” Lynd; son, Robert “Bob” Hallstrom and daughter-in-law, Joanne “Joie” Hallstrom; three grandchildren, Jody Hallstrom (David Bradley), Jason Lynd (Renee) and Amanda Lynd Bastable (Aaron); three step-grandchildren: Matthew Dawson (Deanna), Steven Dawson (Christina) and Sharla Rosen (Phil); six great-grandchildren; Codie Lynd, Connor Lynd, Palmer Bastable, Jane Bastable, Sarah Bastable, and Genevieve Dawson; and a world of true friends.
His great heart finally conceded while he slept in his favorite recliner in his home on December 31, 2020.
Donations to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Nature Conservancy can be made in Jerry’s memory. No public memorial planned.