(Jerome) Jerry H. Wassel died on April 30, 2023 with family and friends by his side.
Jerry was born January 2, 1943 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was raised in Buffalo, New York by his maternal grandparents. After attending school in Buffalo, New York he joined the US Marine Corps. and served from 1961 to 1966. Upon his honorable discharge from the Marine Corp. he attended the police academy and served with the Los Angeles Police Force for 21 years.
After his retirement, he moved to Tehachabi, CA. His intentions were to move to Montana, but while living in Tehachabi, CA his neighbors told him about a small town they were moving to named Coaldale, Colorado. He said that the town he planned on moving to in Montana got it’s first streetlight and that changed his mind. He then put his home on the market and it sold within a day. He loaded up his all he could in his black and silver El Camino, and, and headed to Coaldale, CO, sight unseen, in October of 1986. Upon driving up Poncha Pass, seeing all the colors of the changing leaves, he was sure he wanted to live in Colorado. He drove to Coaldale and once there he found a home to purchase. He went back to California, loaded up his other belongings, in his 1978 Chevrolet short bed pickup truck, along with his horse trailer and his horse, Skippy. He loved living in Coaldale, and having Skippy living on the property and home he purchased.
He became a bartender and later a club manager at the Salida Elks Lodge, where on August 4, 1989 he met his future wife Dawn (Swisher-Stotler), who worked for special events on weekends at the lodge. Jerry and Dawn were married May 18, 1990 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mandy and Danny Stotler, Dawn’s children lived with them, and Mandy chose to go to school in Cotopaxi and Danny in Salida. Jerry absolutely adored them.
In 1995 the family moved to Salida, and was the first residents in the sub-division at Rex Circle.
While still living in California, Jerry discovered he had two paternal step-sisters and they embraced him with open arms. Helen Lancia of Dunmore, PA and Angela Lambert of Jermyn, PA. He visited them numerous times and they came out to Colorado to see him, and of course telephone calls, birthday and Christmas cards, and texts back and forth.. Jerry was very thankful to learn about his father, Thaddeus Jerome Wassel.
Jerry was a Christian and believed in Jesus Christ. He was a member of The American Legion, The Marine Corps League Det#1420, Salida Elks Lodge #808, and before his illness the Salida Golf Club. He enjoyed family gatherings, horse back riding, fishing, camping, golfing, and watching the Buffalo Bills and Colorado Rockies. He also was a fan of movies, westerns and collected civil war and John Wayne memorabilia.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, father, Thaddeus Jerome Wassel, step-daughter Mandy L. Stotler, grandchildren Marissa and Mason Stotler, brother-in-law Vern Kelso, and mother-in law, Readon Magnuson.
Jerry is survived by his wife Dawn, sisters Helen Lancia, Dunmore, PA, Angela Lambert, Jermyn, PA, step-son, Danny (Niki) Stotler, Salida, CO, Grandchildren, Brittany Martin Jake) Quintana of Alamosa, Nola Tracey and Rilynn Stotler, Salida, CO, great grandsons Noah and Liam Quintana of Alamosa, sisters in law, Keri Kelso, Shelley Frasl, and Brenda (Rudy) Martinez all of Salida, and his dog Buck.
Services are planned for Thursday, May 11. 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church, 7 Poncha Blvd., Salida, CO at 11:00, with interment to follow at Fairview Cemetery.
Donations in his name may be made to:
Marine Corps League Det #1420
PO Box 477
Poncha Springs, CO 81242
Online condolences may be sent to the family at lewisandglenn.com. Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home.
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