PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Gerald James Elsenheimer, fisherman, hunter and morel mushroom hunter extraordinaire, died early on Sept. 12 at his winter home in Port Charlotte, Fla. He was comforted and cared for by his loving and devoted partner of 15 years, Marlene December.
“Jerry” will be remembered for his quips and great sense of humor. He was never without a baseball hat or a freely given piece of advice for his children, nieces and nephews.
Jerry had been in a three-year battle with colon cancer.
Jerry was the third of five children. The “Middle Child,” he liked to say. He was born May 1, 1944, in Traverse City, to Arthur and Mary Charlene (Mulvaney) Elsenheimer.
He graduated from Traverse City St. Francis High School and was a proud member of the Gladiator football team.
He was one of the first soldiers to serve in Vietnam — before it was a war — where he set up communication receivers.
Jerry lived in California and beyond before coming home to settle in Traverse City.
He worked as a supervisor at Normic Industries. In later years he was a self employed painter.
Each year he anticipated a successful deer season, Detroit Lions football and Florida. Jerry traveled the United States in retirement and spent summers on Rennie Lake before leaving each September for the warmth of Florida with Marlene.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife, Linda (Walkley) in 1997; brother, Arthur in 2001; and his parents.
He is survived by his loving partner, Marlene December; daughters, Christa Albertson, Teasha (Bill) Lawson and Shanna (Gilbert) Copado; grandchildren, Katerina Albertson and Jeremiah DeHahn, Mya, Elijah and Raymond Capado and Arianna Lawson; sisters, Diane (Leonard) Waclawski and Mary Mathieu; brother, Tom; sister-in-law, Louise Kurtz; son-in-law, Derek (Suzy) December; and many loving nieces, nephews and friends who will always remember his sense of humor.
Services will be held in the spring.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools.