Jerry Alan Blakeley, 72, of Greenville, fell asleep in death, surrounded by his family, on Thursday, January 16, 2020.
Born October 20, 1947, the third of four children, to the late Don P. and Marie E. Blakeley. He is survived by his two sisters, Georgia (Kenneth) Monroe of Wallkill, NY, Donnalee (Lloyd, late) Hanson of Knightstown, IN, and his brother, Greg (Tresa) Blakeley of Arcanum, OH; and nieces and nephews, Beau (Amber) Blakeley, Tara (John) Yoxtheimer, Rebecca Hicks, Martha
Hanson, Dawn (Jon) Kikot, David (April) Monroe; and great-nieces, Darcy, Sara, and Caitlin.
Jerry graduated from Greenville High School in 1965. Among his first jobs were Sutton’s Grocery in Arcanum, Fridgidaire in Dayton, and as an orderly at Miami Valley Hospital. Later he would be known by many as the purveyor of joy through the distraction of video games and pinball machines at Little Greggie’s arcade in Greenville. Most recently he worked alongside the fine people at Whirlpool in Greenville. He enjoyed a diversity of interests, including scuba diving, skiing, and hockey. Jerry was an avid golfer, though regrettably, his golf jokes were far better than his swing. (Why does a golfer wear two pairs of pants? In case he gets a hole in one!)
Jerry never married or had children of his own, instead he lavished genuine love and attention upon his nieces and nephews. When the need arose, he readily accepted the selfless role of caregiver for his aging mother and father. His loyalty to them was exceptional and will always be remembered. When you met Jerry, you immediately sensed that he cared about you; wanted to hear about you; wanted to know you better. He routinely greeted friends and strangers alike with the open-ended, “Tell me a story…”
Jerry, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, dedicated his life to Jehovah God and was baptized on January 1, 1963. Understanding the truth of God’s Word the Bible gave Jerry different perspective on what he saw going on in the world and what to expect from the future. For instance, in 1968, during the Vietnam War, like many young men, Jerry was drafted. Despite popular opinion surrounding this emotionally charged subject, his deeply held desire to obey his Heavenly Father and show love to his fellow man would simply not allow him to take part in the war. For this conscientious decision he was charged with a crime, found guilty, and sentenced in a court of law. While not a pleasant experience, he was pleased to take a stand for what he believed in, no matter the consequence.
During his life, Jerry learned what a difference a close relationship with God could make. He felt strongly that a knowledge of Jehovah God can be the key to peace and satisfaction; while a life without that knowledge can be a struggle to find true happiness. On one hand, Jerry was mild mannered, often deferring attention to others; but on the other, he never hesitated to give voice to those things that mattered the most. Speaking with others about his faith, and encouraging them to explore God’s word for themselves was very important to Jerry. Sharing the truth from the Bible regarding the origin of life, God’s name, the hope of the resurrection, and the future promise of life on a paradise earth was far more important to him than any hobby. He loved, and was loved in return, by a worldwide brotherhood of dear fellow worshippers.
The diagnosis of advanced colon cancer last February forced Jerry onto the crowded road that seeks to paralyze and consume all it’s travelers with fear. He resisted fear by seeing this unavoidable itinerary as an opportunity to make new friends and share with as many people as possible the Bible truths that he held dear. Jerry’s kindness, disarming wit, and handfuls of candy, endeared him to doctors, nurses, caregivers, and fellow patients. His family is grateful for the incredible attention he received from the beautiful folks at Dayton Physicians Cancer Care and State of the Heart Hospice.
The possibility of a cure was unknown, yet, for Jerry, the future was never in doubt. With eyes of faith he could see beyond the present darkness into the future new world described in the Bible at Revelation 21:3,4. The resurrection hope was a secure anchor for Jerry, right to the end. That same hope continues to bring comfort to his family and friends. If you would like to learn more about what Jerry believed, we invite you to visit www.jw.org and click on ‘Bible Teachings.’
The family will receive friends beginning at 12pm, with a memorial service to follow at 2pm on Saturday, January 18th at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 6688 Ludy Road, Greenville Ohio. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to www.jw.org or www.stateoftheheartcare.org.
Funeral arrangements by Zechar Bailey Funeral Home Greenville, Ohio.
Condolences for the family may be sent to www.zecharbailey.com.