Ingle L. Jerde Jr.

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Ingle L. Jerde Jr., 92, of Prairie du Chien, passed away Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, at Prairie Maison in Prairie du Chien. 

He was born June 16, 1928, in Cumberland, the son of Ingle Jerde, Sr. and Mary Maude (Herscher) Jerde. He was raised on the family dairy farm, Jerde Dairy, in Comstock. He went to Cumberland High School and graduated in 1946. He married Eileen Merle on June 10, 1949, in Almena. Together, they lived in Cumberland from 1955 to 1966 before moving to Prairie du Chien. Ingle attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. He worked at the 3M Company for over 40 years until retirement in 1990. He started as an operator at the Cumberland plant and later worked as an engineer. For most of his career, he was a manager in several different positions. He was instrumental in 3M locating and building a plant in Prairie du Chien and hired a lot of the first employees. He was very active in his civic duties. He served on the Cumberland City Council and belonged to the Cumberland Jaycees for many years. He was also active in the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Prairie du Chien Harbor Commission and the United Fund. He was always an active member of his church, both St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cumberland and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Prairie du Chien. He sang tenor in both church choirs for over 50 years. As an avid outdoorsman, he especially loved deer hunting, but he also enjoyed duck hunting in the Wisconsin River bottoms and fishing. He traveled to Canada for fishing trips for several decades. He was also a devoted sports fan, following the Packers, Brewers and Badgers and almost never missed a televised game. He always knew how well each of the teams were doing and would add some of his own constructive criticism. He especially loved the sport of golf and in his later years golfed almost year-round. Since he had just one arm, he surprised a lot of people with his golfing skills. He excelled on and around the greens, once even scoring a hole in one. He and his wife Eileen traveled to Florida for over 20 years to spend the winters and play golf. They developed many friendships, enjoyed dining out, and their nightly visits to the “Wall” for 5 o’clock cocktails. The winters in Florida were very good for them, as they always came back looking and feeling very healthy. Ingle and Eileen also spent many enjoyable summer days at their cottage on Beaver Dam Lake, cruising the lake on the pontoon, visiting relatives, and enjoying the view from their deck. They also traveled extensively in North America and spent time in Europe. Ingle enjoyed taking a good ribbing but, more so, dishing one out. His hearty laugh brightened many get-togethers. He also enjoyed a good card game and was extremely competitive. His competitive spirit came from the loss of his arm as a young child and growing up on a dairy farm. His parents instilled in him the belief that there is nothing you can’t do. Can’t, won’t or quit were not part of his spirit. All of his children grew up regarding their father as very capable and accomplished, never seeing him as having any kind of disability. 

He is survived by his children Cheryl (Don) Peterson, Mary Ann (Craig) Chapman, Jeannie (Bernie) Mrazik, James (Leslie) Jerde, Karl (Tana) Jerde, and Karin (Scott) Yeomans; 15 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Eileen; his parents; his siblings, Nadine, Jeanne, and Ila; as well as Earl Herscher and Mavis Herscher, who were raised in his household. 

A private funeral service will be held at the Garrity Funeral Home, Pastor Miranda Klosterboer officiating, with burial in the Evergreen Cemetery, both in Prairie du Chien. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church or the Eagles Club, both in Prairie du Chien. 

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