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Gerald (Jerry)'s Story

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Gerald (Jerry) Dwayne Pehrson, age 68 of St Peter, Mn, passed away on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at his daughters home surrounded with family. Jerry was born on March 27, 1949 to Franklin and Kathryn (Sear) Pehrson in St Peter, Mn. He graduated from St. Peter High School and attended St Cloud State College in St Cloud, Mn. Jerry returned to his hometown of St. Peter to begin his employment opportunities. He managed the Derby Service Station for years, but then returned back to the family dairy farm to work closely with his brother Richard. Jerry's love for helping others led him to the St Peter Regional Treatment Center in Human Services for 20 plus years. There he cared for patients with developmental disabilities, (often assisting in coaching Special Olympics), later transferring to the Minnesota Security Hospital and working in the sex offender program and the mentally ill and dangerous population as a Security Counselor Lead. Jerry organized a unit softball team with the patients and a men's choir that would march through the halls at the hospital singing Christmas carols at Christmas. Jerry had a reputation of never walking away from a patient in need. Soon after retirement, Jerry began working at the St Peter Library. The Patrons coming and going nicknamed him "Smiley!" His smile would light up a room! Jerry's battle with cancer would force him to leave employment and focus on himself and treatment.
Jerry's greatest love of his life was spending time with his children and grandchildren. He loved taking them camping in his motor-home and just being together. Jerry enjoyed gardening and he was never without a loving pet at his side. Jerry was also an avid lover of sports. At St Peter High School he was the team Captain for Wrestling, Football and Baseball. Jerry received the Eagle Emblem Award for the best defensive player on the team. Jerry and three of his brothers, Wally, Gary (Whitey) and Mark all wrestled on the varsity team together. That year the wrestling squad/team placed 2nd in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota, at that time did not have divisions of school's within the sport competition. All schools competed at the same level. The wrestling team ranked 2nd within the entire state of all Minnesota schools. Jerry shared his knowledge and love for sports and began helping the youth in his community. He coached girls traveling softball teams, girls traveling basketball teams, John Ireland School basketball, and St Peter VFW and Legion baseball. He would start the first St Peter Youth Wrestling Program in the basement of his home. His small group of wrestlers grew so rapidly that he had to leave his basement and move to the St Peter High School gym. Jerry's legacy with youth wrestling continues today in St Peter. He was not only a coach for the youth, but a mentor and a role model. Any child entering Jerry's life knew they could turn to him for loving advise and a lifetime of friendship.
Jerry is survived by his children, Adam (Carrie) Pehrson of Mannford, Oklahoma, Amy (RJ) Powers of Hudson, Wisconsin, Bill (Ariel) Arndt of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Grandchildren, Isabella and Addison Pehrson, Cole, Lexi and Charlie Powers, Aaliyah, Kallon and Emberli Arndt. Siblings; Deanna (Harold) Hoffmeister, Silt, Co, Fred (Patricia) Pehrson, St Peter, Mn, Wally (Laurie) Pehrson, Wasilla, AK, Gary (Sally) Pehrson, Isla Mujeres, Mexico, Mary (Scott) Kreykes, St Peter, Mn, Mark (Debbie) Pehrson, Waseca, Mn, Cathy Giefer, St Peter, Mn, Sister-in-laws, Nancy and Geri Pehrson, St. Peter,MN and many nieces and nephews.
Jerry was preceeded in death by his parents and brothers, Richard, Frank and his nephew Chad Pehrson.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 1pm at Christ Chapel Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, Mn with Chaplin Siri Erickson officiating.
Published on January 10, 2018
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