TRAVERSE CITY — Gerald H. (Jerry) Robinson, also known affectionately as “Jay” growing up on Boughey Hill, passed away after a lengthy illness Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 at his home with his loving wife and sister at his side.
He was born on December 16, 1956, the son of Carolyn Grace Bush and Gerald D. Robinson. He graduated from Traverse City High School after which he spent two years in the United States Army. Jerry married the love of his life, Kathy Lynn Pelton, on Dec. 16, 2006.
Jerry had many jobs throughout the years. He was always able to support his family. He drove cab in the Traverse City area and worked for Thirlby Automotive. He had worked for Benson Optical in Traverse City, Phillips Light, Ind. in Lowell and D.O.C. in Grand Rapids and Traverse City. He was the lab manager for Lens Crafters in the Grand Traverse Mall from 2005 until May, 2013 when his illness prevented him from returning to work.
Jerry was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer at the end of March, 2013. The last few months were a struggle and this long goodbye was very hard on all that loved him, but we had time to reminisce and tell Jerry how much he was loved. He was able to spend quality time with his children and friends. Jerry’s wife, Kathy, lovingly took care of all his needs allowing him to stay in his home during the course of his illness. She also helped him accomplish all those things that were important to him to finish before his disease left him bedridden. Jerry’s family will be forever grateful to Kathy for her devoted care and loving support during his last journey.
Kathy and Jerry were able to take a fun-filled road trip to Key West, Fla. which fulfilled his wish to visit that location before he died. Jerry enjoyed playing golf, searching for Petoskey stones and working in his yard, which was always mowed and trimmed to perfection and highlighted by Kathy’s beautiful flowers. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his wife Kathy and his family. He enjoyed deer hunting every year and made the very best venison lasagna which was enjoyed by his family and friends. He especially loved full moon bonfires, which he kept going all winter long. He didn’t need a special reason to have a Saturday night bonfire. Babies sensed his gentleness and compassion and were at ease in his arms. He will be remembered as “Papa Jerry.” The family would like to thank Jerry’s co-workers and friends for sharing their children with him and Kathy.
He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and son. He was loved so much and will be dearly missed by his family and friends. He will never be forgotten as his memory will be rekindled at the lighting of many bonfires to come in his honor. He faced his illness with courage and dignity, never complaining about his terminal diagnosis or the constant pain he was experiencing. He amazed us all with his keen sense of humor until the very end.
Jerry was preceded in death by his mother, Carolyn Grace Bush, and his stepfather, James Clinton Bush. Surviving are his wife, Kathy; and his children, Adam Jack (Samantha) Robinson, Samantha Jean Robinson and Nicholas Hiram Robinson and their mother Trish Vogelheim; his step-children, Bridgette Mockerman, Robert (Heather) Mockerman, and Richard (Amy) Mockerman; his sister Shari Kaye Bays; his father Gerald D. (Elfriede) Robinson; 10 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Hospice of Michigan, in particular Jackie, Jessica and Pam for their compassionate support and care of Jerry during his illness. Contributions may be made to the Hospice of Michigan.
The family is being served by Life Story Funeral Home. Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held in the spring. Please visit Jerry’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com to sign the guestbook and share a message or memory with his family.