Gairald David Zeiler, Jr, 73, of Canon City, Colorado, passed from this life into the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the Bruce McCandless Colorado Veterans Community Living Center in Florence, Colorado.
Gairald, who was better known as Jerry, was born to Gairald D. (Bud) and Wilma Zeiler on September 1, 1947 in Columbia, South Carolina. Jerry grew up in the area of Butler, St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri.
After High School, he joined the Marine Corps and was deployed into combat during the Viet Nam war. He was a Radio Operator, MP and a Drill Instructor. Jerry held a variety of jobs during his life including fireman, house painter, electrician, motorcycle mechanic, colt wrangler, and Officer with DOC.
Jerry was a lifelong learner with an extensive library of books. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in 1988 from USC and a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky in 1996. He was very clear about the call of Jesus Christ on his life and considered being a pastor and teacher his most important profession. He was passionate about sharing the Gospel with the youth of Canon City. Even as his health declined, Jerry remained faithful.
On October 15, 1985, Jerry married Janice Shoemaker Todd. They were married 35 years. Deeply devoted to each other, their marriage scripture was Solomon 3:4: “I have found the one whom my soul loves.” Janice brought three girls to the marriage. Jerry referred to his girls as triplets because he got them all on the same day. Jerry took his role as bonus dad very seriously and was honored to pour love into their lives. He enjoyed his role as father-in-law and often shared wisdom about how to be a successful father and husband with these sons. He doted on the grandchildren and was very proud of each one. Jerry loved spending time with his brother, Dean Zeiler, and treasured their fishing, camping, hiking, and motorcycle adventures.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Janice Zeiler; his daughters, Jennifer (Jeff) Taege, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Kirsten (Tim) Harbeck, of Littleton, Colorado, Diana (Tyson) Fye, of Stratton, Colorado; grandchildren, Will and Lucas Taege, Halie, Reagan and Ava Harbeck, Hannah Rigirozzi, Stockton and Gunner Fye; brother, Warren Dean (Joyce) Zeiler, of St. Joseph, Missouri; favorite Aunt, Bonnie Pitts, of Kansas City and half brother and sister, David Zeiler and Derrissa Atlakson.
Other surviving family includes brother in law, Wayne (Sonja) Shoemaker; sisters-in-law, Joan (Robert Taylor) Shoemaker, Kathleen (Bruce Bowman) Shoemaker; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Special thanks to the following people for their quality care and assistance over the last year: Dr. Stephen Barbee and staff, Dr. Joe McGarry and the staff at Bruce McCandless, as well as those giving excellent care at St. Thomas More Hospital, Canon City Fire Department and AMR.
Memorial service, 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 11, 2020, Evangelical Free Church, in Canon City. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the Canon City Chapter of Young Life or to The Wounded Warrior Project.
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