Jerry Shoemaker

Obituary of Jerry Shoemaker

Jerry Charles Shoemaker, age 67, of Mason, formerly of Deerfield, passed away on June 5, 2017, at Parkcliffe Community in Toledo, OH.  He was born on June 4, 1950, in Plainwell, MI to Jesse Charles and Martha (Rickli) Shoemaker.  Jerry is survived by his wife, Deborah (Morgan) Shoemaker.  They were married in Sugar Grove, PA on August 12, 1972.  Jerry was a teacher, coach, and guidance counselor for Deerfield Public Schools retiring in 2011. He was a member of Deerfield United Methodist Church, where he served as treasurer for many years, and later a member of the Mason First United Methodist Church.  Jerry served his community as the village treasurer for 23 years.  Jerry was an avid golfer, enjoyed all kinds of travel and visiting various baseball stadiums, was a Detroit Tigers fan and had visited all the Presidential gravesites.  Getting to know people and their story was Jerry’s passion and in that way he served God by being a compassionate listener to all.


In addition to his wife, Deb, he is survived by his daughter, Allison (Michael) Palmer of Chantilly, VA and their children Sean and Morgan; son, Benjamin (Amanda) Shoemaker of Holt and their children Anna, Matthew and Andrew; mother, Martha of Kalamazoo; brother, Thomas (Tonda Boothby) Shoemaker of Paw Paw; sister, and Mary (Tim) Burpee of Snohomish, WA.  He was preceded in death by his father, Jesse “Chuck” Shoemaker in 2015.


A Memorial Service to celebrate Jerry’s life will be held on Sunday, June 25th at 2 PM at Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield with Pastor Wm Michael Clemmer officiating.  Inurnment of ashes will follow in Deerfield Cemetery, Deerfield.  Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 24th from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Anderson Rudd Funeral Home and also on Sunday, June 25th, 2017 from 12:00 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.

 You may leave online condolences for the family at Memorial contributions may be made to Adrian College for a Scholarship Fund in Jerry’s memory.  Envelopes are available at the Anderson-Rudd Funeral Home, Blissfield.  


Dear Friends and Loved Ones all,

Jerry and I began our relationship talking to each other and learning each other’s story as freshmen at Adrian College.  Anyone who ever met Jerry knew he was a good listener but he also knew what questions to ask and some of those were awkward and not typically socially acceptable questions.  However, they were important things to talk about.  So because I know you all care about Jerry I want to share with you the answers to some of the questions you may have about the last 10 years of Jerry’s life.

The early symptoms of any form of dementia are easily explained away because many of us forget this or that from time to time and this was true in Jerry’s case too.  In the last 3 or 4 years of Jerry’s tenure at Deerfield there were an increasing number of tasks previously handled with ease that became more and more difficult for him.  The first 2 years of our retirement we traveled and made memories that are treasured.  In 2015 Jerry stopped driving, but thanks to longtime friends he was still able to enjoy playing golf.  That fall we moved closer to Ben as taking care of a home was becoming increasingly difficult for us and we wanted to make the transition from our longtime home to the new one while Jerry could adjust.  In the summer of 2016 we bought a condo and though speaking and staying on task were becoming more difficult for Jerry he was involved in the decisions related to our choice.  We found a welcome in the Mason First United Methodist Church and learned that Ben’s description of Mason as a “Big Deerfield” was accurate.

Though the disease was presenting new symptoms in a gradual manner we had been adapting our life and still felt we had real quality.  Beginning in February 2017 Jerry started to look for someone and I was not able to figure out who that someone was.  Jerry’s quest became disruptive to life including leaving the house on his own and knocking on doors of homes where we did not know anyone.  It became necessary for us to seek out different medications than those that had been working up to that time.  That involved hospital stays to get medication regulated.  Jerry’s decline began to move at an ever increasingly rapid pace and each time we thought we had a new strategy that might bring quality of life for Jerry it did not prove to be a lasting answer.  Most likely this rapid change and decline were the results not only of the Alzheimer’s but of the additional issues involved with vascular dementia.  The medical professionals involved in Jerry’s care believe that he was having multiple TIA’s or mini strokes daily.  By mid May eating was becoming more and more difficult until he reached the point June 1st that he could not swallow anything.  Between Mid April and the end of May Jerry had lost about 40 pounds.  Hospice gave Jerry and me wonderful care as did all of the staff at Parkcliffe Community in Toledo and Sensations Memory Care in Charlotte.

Shortly after 6 AM June 5th, while I was holding his hands, Jerry passed peacefully from this life into life eternal with Jesus. 

So if you have more questions I will be happy to visit with you in the weeks to come but for now I would love to hear about your lives, your families, your dreams and your stories about Jerry.  Thank you for the love you are sharing with all of us as we celebrate a life well lived.