Obituary: Gerald ‘Jerry’ Francis Schildroth, Jr.
Jerry was born in Grand Rapids, MI where he attended St. Alphonsus and Creston High School. Jerry was a talented artist in many mediums and graduated from Kendall School of Art and Design. He served his country in the Air National Guard, joining in 1964. For many years, Jerry worked in retail menswear as proprietor of Holmes Menswear in Grand Rapids and as a wholesale representative in the areas around Minneapolis, MN. His love of skiing and the outdoors brought him to reside in Vail, CO. While in Colorado, he taught skiing and fly fishing and began keeping the company of Golden Retrievers. In 2000, Jerry won the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide of the Year. In 2005, searching for better fishing waters, he moved to Virginia City, Montana to continue guiding while also teaching skiing at Santa Fe and Big Sky. Jerry was involved in the Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation dedicating his time to teaching wounded combat veterans to fly fish.
Jerry was happiest outside in nature and sharing this joy with family and friends. He loved his children, his dog Maddie, skiing, fly fishing, playing (and often winning at) tennis, hiking and other sports as well as teaching, traveling, a cold beer or a bottle of fine wine, delicious food, and beautiful blonde women.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Jane and Jerry, Sr. as well as his two beloved dogs, “Cat” and “Rainbow”. He will be lovingly remembered and missed by his children, Dr. Genevieve Schildroth and Staff Sgt. Gerald (“Jed”) F. Schildroth, III (Jenny), his siblings, Linda Glass, Kathy (Steve) Rusiewicz, Michael (Elaine) Schildroth, Maureen (Chris) Pheils and Kevin (Sandra) Schildroth and countless friends across the country.
Thank you to all the dedicated doctors and nurses at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and Madison Valley Medical Center that cared for him and his amazing friends and neighbors in Ennis and Virginia City.
He will be missed beyond measure but we will honor his memory when fresh powder tracks are made, a fat trout is caught (and released), when we excessively use butter and garlic while cooking, flash a smile after winning match point or laugh out loud with friends and remember the breathtaking view of the Ruby Range from his porch.
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A private memorial service was held in Ennis, MT and his children released half his ashes in the Madison River at Three Dollar Bridge. The remaining half will be released atop Vail Mountain this winter in a second memorial service. Jerry’s ashes will always remain a part of the beautiful environment he loved so much and shared with everyone. Contributions may be made to the Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation.