Gerald 'Jerry' Picker
Gerald 'Jerry' Picker

Feb. 8, 1924

May 18, 2020

LIMA — Gerald "Jerry" R. Picker, 96, of Lima passed away peacefully on Monday at the Springs of Lima surrounded by his loving family.

Jerry was born Feb. 8, 1924, to Frank I. and Grace (White) Picker, who preceded him in death. On Aug. 11, 1943, he married Junella Mae Ludwig, who preceded him in death on Sept. 30, 1999.

Gerald and Junella have four children, David M. (Barbara) Picker, Cynthia M. (Frank) Santaguida, Jennifer L. Picker and Steven D. (Kerrie) Picker; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Jerry is also survived by his sister Betty Jean Harner and brother Donald Picker, in-laws Kenneth Ludwig, Larry (Sue) Ludwig, Karen (Mel) Kohrn, and Samantha Ludwig; along with many nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, Carl "Duke" Picker; a sister, Mary Lou Williams; sisters-in-law Margaret Picker, Delores Picker, Kathleen Armstrong, Geraldine Ludwig, Sandra Ludwig, Betty Ludwig and Elaine Morvay; and brothers-in-law Ralph Harner, Jerry Williams, Arnold Ludwig, Franklin Ludwig, Jerry Ludwig and Jack Armstrong.

Jerry was a 1942 graduate of St. John's High School in Delphos, after which he joined the U. S. Navy and served during World War II on the USS Essex Aircraft Carrier as an Electrician's Mate Second Class, where he saw heavy action in the Pacific. Jerry received numerous commendations, ribbons, stars and medals for his service. He believed in service to our country and still flew the flag in his room at the Springs.

After World War II, Jerry worked at Lima Lumber helping to build many of the houses on the Market Street Boulevard. He then opened Delphos Cabinet and Boat Shop building church pews for Delphos St. John's, and many of the bars and cabinets in establishments in and around Lima such as the Alpine Village. Jerry then graduated from DeVry University, obtaining an electronics degree which led him to open Delphos TV Sales and Service in 1946, which he owned and operated for 47 years and continued to work at after selling the business. Jerry additionally built his own home, boat, cottage, and business.

His family is very proud of their father's success and achievements. Jerry and June were the epitome of a perfect couple and had a special love. They never missed a moment to spend time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Jerry was a founding member of St. Charles Catholic Church in Lima and served his church until his health began to fail. He was also a member of the Delphos Chamber of Commerce, lifetime member of the Delphos VFW, founding member of the Delphos Area Car Club and served as president, vice-president and treasurer; worked on several projects with the Boy Scouts; was a member of the Mustang Club of America and Thunderbird Club of America; and received many awards from RCA and Whirlpool for his sales and customer service.

Jerry loved antique automobiles, especially his 1966 Ford Convertible Mustang and 1956 Ford Thunderbird, and had won many trophies, including National trophies at the Mustang National Show in Louisville and Nashville, Tennessee.

In their retirement, Jerry and June helped to raise money for St. Jude's through the Delphos Area Car Club events and attended hundreds of shows with their friends.

In Jerry's lifetime, he enjoyed family time at their cottage on the Auglaize River boating and skiing, racing go carts, bowling (bowled a perfect game), baseball (pitching a no-hitter), playing his guitar either in a band or the backroom of his store, and gardening - especially his roses.

Due to Covid - 19, a private family Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Charles Catholic Church in Lima, Father Kent Kaufman officiating, with burial following at Gethsemani Cemetery. The Mass will be live streamed on stcharleslima.org.

Military honors will be provided by VFW Post 1275.

Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors Project or St. Charles Catholic Church.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.chiles-lamanfh.com.