Obituary: Gerald “Jerry” Nemanic
September 18, 1941 – August 5, 2020
Gerald “Jerry” Nemanic, formerly of Gilbert, died August 5, 2020 at his home in Henderson, Nevada. Born September 18, 1941 in Biwabik, Minnesota, he was 78. Son of Carl Nemanic and the former Margaret Kraker, Jerry grew up in Gilbert, Minnesota and was a 1959 graduate of Gilbert High School. He loved sports, participating in football, basketball, and track. After attending the University of North Dakota for two years, he transferred to the University of Minnesota, where he took a degree in literature and journalism (1963). Subsequently, Jerry studied at the University of Arizona, earning a PhD in English (1969).
His working life was as a teaching and research professor at the University of Arizona, California State University at Long Beach and, for many years, at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago (1967-1996). Jerry championed his native region and adopted city. He founded the Great Lakes Review, a journal of Midwest Culture; and published the landmark Bibliographical Guide to Midwestern Literature (University of Iowa Press, 1980). On Chicago Public Radio he hosted “Writing Chicago”, half hour interviews with Chicago literary figures, which later was expanded into “Book Gallery” on the NPR satellite network. Jerry also wrote many articles about books and travel for the Chicago Tribune.
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After retiring in 1996, Jerry and his wife Donna took up world travels and wrote about them for various publications, most extensively in “Jetsetters Magazine”. Resettling in Eagle, Colorado, they were instrumental in rearing two granddaughters, Rachael Burnett, and Erin (Brett) Carrieri, after a tragic accident in 2001 left their mother, Donna’s daughter, a quadriplegic.
Jerry and Donna lived in the Las Vegas area on and off for a few years before settling in suburban Henderson in 2017.
In addition to his wife, the former Donna Dullin Simmons of Evanston, Illinois, Jerry is survived by his grand-daughters and a brother, Todd (Mariela) of Savannah, Georgia, and two nieces, Karla, and Katya Nemanic, also of Savannah.
Although no formal services are planned, memorial get-togethers are planned for a future time in Nevada and Colorado.