The father I remember, photo by my brother Don in 1966, Bossier City, Louisiana. Probably a Sunday afternoon, and that is probably a beer in his hand. Sunday’s and beer went together.
Jerry Stalter and Signe Viola Stalter his older sister in 1928. She died in 1929 when she was hit by a streetcar in St. Paul, MInnesota. She was 6 years old.
Jerry Frimpter Stalter was born August 10, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Perry Hunt Stalter and Signe Helmena Anderson. Jerry died March 1, 2007 in Humble, Texas. He was married to Grace Evelyn Hancock until they divorced in 1964 and then married to Bobbie Rose Quigley.
From the earliest time I can remember, Jerry loved to square dance, go fishing and to baseball games, golf and just be part of everything life had to offer. That included raising four children all a year apart, as well as a step daughter and a son from his second marriage.
Life always seemed to be busy with baseball games, swimming lessons, piano lessons, visiting Grandma and Grandpa Hancock, school and church activities. As we got older Jerry missed a lot of that because he took a job with Johnson’s Wax and traveled two weeks at a time going to Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Utah. He had favorite stores and restaurants in many of the small towns that he worked and he would always come back with stories about the wide open country and the things he had seen and the people he met.
Dad loved going to the mountains. When he was home over the weekend we would drive up to the mountains, find a picnic spot and spend the afternoon hiking or playing whiffle ball. Many times we would meet my aunts and uncles and cousins for a big family picnic. The men would play horseshoes and the women would sit in lawn chairs and talk while watching the children.
Jerry loved the challenge of driving in the mountains. I swear it seemed like he took the curves faster than other drivers. But then, I always sat in the middle and couldn’t really see out the window very well, just rocked side to side between my dad and my mom. I was happy when I graduated to the back seat.
I don’t really know at what point my parents decided to get a divorce. It was confusing to me, I was only 13 years old at the time. But looking back, I believe they made the right decision. Dad married Bobbie who was a wonderful, loving mother to her daughter and their son and always opened her heart and home to Don and I when we visited.
Mom married Art Mann who actually was much like my dad, fun loving and kind. He helped teach me to drive and then even trusted me with his car on Saturday nights that he and my mom were not going out to dance at the Westminster Elks Club. He was a wonderful ‘grandpa’ to our children.
My dad, Jerry Stalter, myself and brother Don Stalter, gathered in Mesa, Arizona after the death of Uncle Vic Stalter, Jerry’s brother in 1997.
Although I called Jerry by phone when he lived in a nursing home in Texas, I always had to time my calls so that he wouldn’t miss bingo or whatever activity for the day was taking place. Predictable!
Memories come only once, life is short embrace it while you can.