He was born in Madison, Wis., on Feb. 26, 1953. He attended Waupaca Grade School and graduated from Waupaca High School in 1971. On July 23, 1977, he married Sharon Flora at United Methodist Church in Roscoe, Illinois. The couple has resided in Plymouth since their marriage. Jerry worked at Midwest Breeders before retiring from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. He was the president of the Soo Line Historical Society and owned the Mullet River and Southern Railway. Jerry had countless contributions to the city of Plymouth. He orchestrated the Wall Dogs to come and paint the murals throughout the city. He organized both Santa Steam Train events. He held a key role in getting the new train line built and operational. He had a deep love for trains. He could tell you the history, background, production year and myriad other facts about any engine or train car that ran the rails.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Sharon Thompson of Plymouth; a daughter, Winifred Thompson, stationed in Brussels, Belgium; three sons, Miles (Heather) Thompson of Plymouth, Caleb Thompson of Durango, Colorado, and Jacob Thompson of Plymouth; five amazing grandchildren, Grayson, Lyla, Pike, Esmae and River. He is also survived by his mother, Louise Jean (Nord) Wenzel of Abbotsford; and a sister, Joann (Jerry) Wolf of Athens; his adopted siblings, Charlie Wenzel, Mcann Wenzel and Richard Wenzel; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; aunts and uncles, Diane L. Majer, Westhills, Calif.; Emil and Eleanor Nord, La Habra-Heights, Calif., and Dick and Pat (Wenzel) Hobson, Pine River, Wis.; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, James Thompson; his stepfather, Jerome Wenzel; his mother-in-law, Winifred (Overlock) Flora; his grandparents, Emil and Louise Nord, Canoga Park, Calif.; Gerhardt R. Thompson, Ogdenburg, Wis.; Henry and Grace (Wals) Lucht, Rhinelander, Wis., and Oliver and Gertrude Wenzel, Waupaca, Wis.; and great-grandparents, Tom and Olga (Wals) Grobowski, Rhinelander, Wis.
The funeral service was held on Friday, July 15, 2016, at 6 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Plymouth. Rev. John Schultz, pastor of the church, presided. Burial took place in the Plymouth Woodlawn Cemetery. Visitation was held at the church on Friday, July 15, from 3 p.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Jerry’s name. The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Plymouth is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit www.suchonfh.com.
The Thompson Family would like to express special gratitude to Dr. Cheruppolil Santhosh-Kumar, Deborah Gray, the nurses and staff of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic and the medical staff at the Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center for their care and support during this journey. Thank you to the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice for their compassion and love. We will remember your acts of kindness forever.