Gerald Wickham

Obituary of Gerald C. Wickham

Gerald (Jerry) Curry Wickham, was born on July 25,1927 and departed from us on January 28, 2021 due to complications from COVID-19, just 15 months after the death of his beloved wife of 59 years, Colette. Jerry's family would like to thank the incredible medical staff at Lourdes Hospital for the loving and dedicated care that they provided Jerry during these last three weeks. Jerry entered this world in Cleveland, Ohio, which would doom him to a life of Cleveland Indian and Browns fandom, the perfect counter to his unbounded spirit of optimism and enthusiasm. He vowed just last year that he wouldn't die until one of his two teams brought home a championship, but alas even Jerry realized no human can live that long. He was born minutes after his identical twin brother, Tom. Yes, Tom and Jerry, and their level of rascality over the years would make even those cartoon characters blush. Until they came along, their Cleveland Heights neighborhood was unaware that a Model T could drive itself around with just Jerry relaxing in the backseat. It helped, the police later figured out, that Tom, on his stomach, worked the pedals and wheel with his hands while Jerry provided directions. This apparently was the way 10-year-olds operated a car in those days. And that was how he rolled throughout life. Always seeking adventure, always looking for fun. Over the decades Jerry beat a triangular path from his home on 9 Laurel Avenue to the Rec Park tennis courts to the Pine Lounge and then back home. When he wasn't playing tennis with his closest friends, Dave, Ken, Lou, and Pete, he was jogging, hiking or snowshoeing to burn off his endless energy. He never saw a manufactured piece of furniture, or any object for that matter, that he believed he couldn't build better himself. His basement was a workshop of imagination for ideas that no one else would ever think of. Only Jerry, for example, would drill flashing diodes into the eyes of a porcelain hockey trophy, then wire a switch from his living room bookshelf down through the wall and through the basement to his garage door. Most people would just stick their head out the front entrance before bed to see if that garage door was closed. Jerry lost Tom to prostate cancer in 1997, a cancer he would eventually survive as well before being diagnosed in later years with melanoma. He also shrugged that cancer off so he could carry on in this world for both of them as a source of joy and family history. Jerry not only possessed a will to live, but a will to be alive and present in every moment. He was a Marine in the Pacific during World War II, but later joined Veterans For Peace and protested US military action in the Middle East. During his career at IBM, he worked closely with colleagues from Japan and Germany. He in fact marched for just about anything if it appealed to his consuming sense of justice. He held strong political convictions, but never did he join a debate unprepared. Jerry was a lifelong New Yorker reader and consumed mountains of books, especially if they involved history or math. A military veteran and child of the Depression, Jerry raised his three children - Beth, Joe and Phil - to be positive and fiercely independent: intellectually and financially. This spirit and set of values was passed along to his eight grandchildren, Mike, Scott, Cara, Gina, Anna, Elissa, Emily and Iris, as well as his two great-grandchildren, Brady and Jake. To his whole family, Jerry was "light", brave in his belief to always be the positive energy for the family. He will be missed dearly. Graveside services will be held Thursday in Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City, at 1 p.m. Reverend Ken Kirkman will officiate. A celebration of his life for broader family and friends will be held on Jerry's 94th birthday on July 25, 2021 at Longview Farms, 5819 Updyke Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886. Please contact Beth DeAngelo at bethdeang727@gmail.com or Phil Wickham at phil.wickham@gmail.com for schedules and logistics.
Thursday
4
February

Graveside Service

1:00 pm
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Calvary Cemetery
501 Fairview St.
Johnson City, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

Calvary Cemetery
501 Fairview St.
Johnson City, New York, United States
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