Featured Resident – Jerry Dewey
Gerald “Jerry” Dewey was born in Industrial City, which is near St. Joseph, MO. He was the seventh of eight children born to Alfred and Beatrice Dewey. He grew up with five brothers and two sisters. Jerry loved playing in Black Snake Creek and seeing what kind of trouble he could into. He didn’t like school, more specifically he’d rather play than study. So he dropped out of school during his eighth grade year.
Jerry moved to Kentucky to live with his brother for a few months before returning to Industrial City. He got a job at a grass seed company. A year later, he went to work for Anchor Serum Company which made serum for cattle. However due to an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease, the company laid everyone off.
During this time, Jerry met Betty Boyer. His brother was dating a young lady and Jerry asked if she had a sister. As luck would have it she did and they all went roller skating together. Jerry and Betty dated for about three years and decided to get married. They were wed on December 14, 1951. They settled down to married life on Dewey Hill in Industrial City. In 1952, their son, Gerald Jr, was born. Less than a year later, Gloria was born. They had Gale in 1957 and Garland in 1959.
In 1953, Jerry went to work as an apprentice brick layer working with his “Uncle Ace”. After four years, he became a brick mason in his own right and continued working with “Uncle Ace”. When work became slow, Jerry and Betty moved the family to Kansas City North. Jerry went to work for DiCarlo Masonry. He worked on the building of the Blue Ridge Mall and the Western Electric Building in Grandview. Jerry went to work for LE Green Contracting in 1962 and over the next three and a half decades he worked as a brick layer. He joined the Brick Layers Union and is still a member. Last year, he was recognized as being a member for 65 years. He laid brick for a total of 53 years before retiring.
Jerry and Betty started attending Tower View Baptist Church in 1960 shortly after moving to the Kansas City area. They were faithful and got actively involved. Jerry has been a long standing member of the Properties Committee, which takes care of the grounds. Jerry mowed the nine acre lot for the church. Over the years, Jerry has also worked with the boys group (formerly called the RAs), been the Brotherhood Chairman, President of the Baptist Men and a deacon. Jerry and Betty are still active members at Tower View.
Jerry and Betty owned a lot in Odessa and they would go tent camping in the summers and on weekends. The area also allowed for swimming and fishing.
Jerry believes in giving back to the community by volunteering. Early in his life, he was an assistant Scout master. He had been a scout when he was a youth but unable to get his Eagle Scout because he aged out. Jerry spent fifteen years umpiring Little League Baseball for North Kansas City.
Jerry still volunteers one day a week at a golf course – though this is for his benefit.
Jerry started golfing 35 years ago and loves it. He usually plays golf two days a week. Volunteering as a Marshall one day a week pays for his playing two days a week. A Marshall monitors the golf course and players, making sure they have everything they need such as water and equipment, and cleaning up the grounds. Jerry has always loved being outdoors. So this is a win –win situation for him.
Betty had a stroke on Father’s Day in 2017. Due to her health, the couple relocated to Westbrook in Kearney, MO. He enjoys the short walk to the coffee pot as well as doing jigsaw puzzles with others. He likes not having to do dishes and the friendly people who live at Westbrook. He’s known to walk down to Dining Room #1 just to see all the ladies smiling.
Growing up Jerry’s brother, Pete, claimed him and he became known as “Little Pete” to his brother’s “Big Pete”. In Industrial City, they still call him Pete. He’s known as Uncle Pete to his nieces and nephews. He enjoys his life and his family. Jerry and Betty been married for 66 years. Besides their four children, they have two daughters in law, two sons in law, ten grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.