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Gerald A. Willett, JR

June 24, 1930 ~ March 16, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Gerald Willett, JR Obituary

Gerald (Jerry) A. Willett Jr, age 93, long-term resident of Moscow, Idaho, entered into heaven on March 16, 2024 in Pullman, Washington at Regency Pullman. Jerry was born in Helena, Montana, on June 24, 1930 to Gerald Sr. and Laura (Sherman) Willett. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Merlyn; daughter, Marge (Willett) Beam and husband Brian; son, Gary; granddaughter, Faye Williams; grandson, Joe Manuele(Pauline); great-grandchildren, Johnathan, Mycah, and Sara; sister, Laura (Pixie) Richeson; sister-in-law, Marie Willett (Tom) several nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and nephews; and cousins. He was loved by family, extended family, and friends of family. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Tom, and brother-in-law Jim Richeson (Pixie).


Jerry lived a life full of adventure, sharing his love of the outdoors, rodeo, wildlife and art with his family and friends. Born in Montana, he raised his children with camping trips, fishing, horseback riding, and back packing trips. He traveled as much as he could and instilled in his family a love of travel, outdoors, wildlife and a respect for nature and the western way of life.

He served in the Air Force during the Korean war, teaching pilots how to read and utilize the control panels. After that he served in the Montana National Guard for several years. Jerry worked in Helena and Bozeman, Montana, for Morrison-Maierle Engineering. In 1972, Jerry took his first teaching job at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois. Then in 1977, he took a teaching position in Civil Engineering at the University of Idaho, where Jerry also spent some time as the faculty advisor of the Rodeo Club. There were great memories of traveling to rodeos and bonding with the students.

Jerry had a love of and great talent for art work, as did his father and brother Tom. He worked with many mediums, from water color to sculptures. Jerry produced many high quality bronzes that showed his love of western life, rodeos, horses and Native American Chiefs. Jerry was also known for the many surveying jobs he did. He started surveying on rural and rugged Montana terrain while in his late teens. He did surveying for the first electrical lines running through portions of Montana. He had a lot of stories to share of the old days. His children and grandchildren grew up with stories around the campfire and never tired of hearing them. He was loved and respected by many. Most importantly, he instilled in his family to always try and never give up, and that they could do anything they set their minds to.


His favorite prayer was the “Lord’s Prayer” and he entered heaven peacefully while his wife,
children, and son-in-law stood around him saying the “Lord’s Prayer”.


There will be a Celebration of Life at a later time for family and close friends of the family.

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