Jerry Lee Douglas, 73
Jerry Lee Douglas, 73, of Pierre, S.D., died Monday, December 21, 2020, at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital.
Visitation will be from 5- 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 27th, at Isburg Funeral Chapel, with a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m.
Jerry was a member of Faith Lutheran Church. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 28th, at Faith Lutheran Church, with visitation one hour prior to the funeral. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery. Masks and social distancing will be required for attendance. The service can be viewed via live stream at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com at the top of Jerry’s obituary page.
Jerry was born on April 11, 1947, in Mobridge, S.D., to George “Polly” and Shirley (Schmidt) Douglas. He was raised in Pollock, S.D., and graduated from Pollock High School. He attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., before moving to Deadwood to work at Homestake Gold Mine. This is where he met the love of his life, Ruby Stott. They were married on April 14, 1967. Their two children, Sharlene and Wade, were born in Deadwood.
In 1970, they moved to Aberdeen where Jerry resumed attending NSU and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in business in 1974. Jerry worked for The House of Glass for 4 years and then the family moved to Pierre in 1978. He worked for the State Fire Marshall for a few years as a pipeline inspector and then worked for the Department of Social Services as a Senior Auditor in Contracts and Audits. Throughout his auditing career, he trained new employees from various state departments. Jerry retired 16 years ago after a 29-year career with the State of South Dakota.
The one quality Jerry will be remembered by most is his ability to make a friend out of a stranger. In his eyes, a stranger was just a friend he had yet to meet. His Christian faith was reflected in how he treated others which was his belief that, “Everybody is Somebody.”
Jerry loved spending time with his family and spent countless hours attending the many activities his grandchildren were involved in. Some of the activities were track meets, tennis matches, dance recitals, band competitions, show choir, horse shows, 4H, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, and one wedding.
One of his favorite passions was following his Vikings and the Minnesota Twins. Jerry rarely missed a televised game. Jerry and Wade would travel each summer to the Twin Cities to take in a couple games. Often Jerry could be seen wearing the jersey of his favorite player, Kirby Puckett.
Jerry had a sense of adventure and loved to travel. Jerry and Ruby visited all 50 states, Canada, Belize, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. He enjoyed planning trips almost as much as taking them. He should have been a travel agent.
Jerry was a lifelong card player and devoted many hours at the poker table. He made many friends (and maybe some enemies when winning) playing cards. Also, if fishing were considered a sport, this is the only sport in which he ever participated. He loved to share his knowledge by coaching his children and grandchildren on how to reel them in.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 53 years, Ruby Douglas of Pierre, his children and 6 grandchildren: Sharlene (Brett) Lien and their children; Bailey (Jonathan) Neuharth, Seth Lien and Kennedi Lien all of Sioux Falls, Wade (Sara) Douglas and their children; Grace Douglas, Zoe Douglas and Livia Douglas all of Aberdeen. Jerry is also survived by his sister Georgia (Ken) Vander Vorst of Westfield, N.D.; his stepsister Karen Meier of North Dakota, brother-in-law Bill (Barb) Stott of Deadwood, sisters-in-law Mary (Louis) Leahy of Spearfish and Delores (Ron) Holso of Belle Fourche, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jerry was preceded in death by his dad George Douglas, his mom Shirley Douglas Vander Laan, his stepfather Fritz Vander Laan, stepbrothers Terry and Arlo Vander Laan, Blaine Meier, and his in-laws William Sr. and Tillie Stott.