GERALD C. “JERRY” GREEN
December 16, 1937 – June 15, 2019
Gerald C. “Jerry” Green, age 81, of Park Rapids, MN, peacefully passed into eternal life on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Crystal Brook Care Center in Park Rapids, MN surrounded by his loved ones.
Jerry was born on December 16, 1937, to Helen Eva (McClain) Green and John Harvey Green in Des Moines, Iowa. Shortly thereafter, his family moved to Minnesota. His mother married her second husband, George Jorgenson, and moved the family of four young boys to the Park Rapids area. While attending Park Rapids High School, he participated in numerous activities and leadership roles, but most of all he excelled in track and football (Captain). Jerry received a full scholarship to Bemidji State College for his high endurance sporting endeavors. In 1990, Jerry was honored to be the recipient of Bemidji State University’s Outstanding Alumni Award and placed in the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
While in high school he met the love of his life, Shirley Walsh. They both continued to Bemidji State College after high school. Graduation and married on September 7, 1957. While in college they were blessed with two children, Joanie and Jeff. Jerry received his degree in Education and began his teaching and coaching career at Great Falls High School in Great Falls, Montana. He coached football, wrestling, and track & field, and all were very successful at the state level.
During his high school, college, and teaching years, he served in the Army and Air National Guard. Influenced by his three brothers, all of them career military, Jerry applied for and received a direct commission as an officer in the U.S. Army in 1967. He pursued aviation as a helicopter pilot. Following his Officer Basic Course in Ft. Eustis, VA, and his entry into The Army Aviation Program for fixed-wing (airplanes), rotary-wing (helicopters), and multi-engine qualification courses, he served in Vietnam as a unit pilot, Maintenance Officer, and test pilot. Other positions included Company Commander at Hunter Army Airfield, GA, Chief of the Officer Course Branch for Training Developments at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and one tour of duty in Korea where he served as Battalion Commander and one tour in Vietnam. As an Army Colonel, he served in several positions at the Aviation Systems Command in St. Louis, MO, primarily in the Apache Helicopter Program Management Office and culminating in his last assignment as the worldwide Project Manager for the Blackhawk Helicopter Program.
COL Green was awarded the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medals, 13 Air Medals, and many others. As a Senior Army Aviator, he accumulated over 1500 flight hours. Jerry retired from the Army on June 1, 1993, as an O-6/Colonel.
He studied at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and then completed his Master's Degree in Business Management from Webster University, graduated from the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College, and received training in numerous advanced courses relevant to aviation and leadership.
In addition to being a wonderful husband, father, uncle, and brother, Jerry was always the eternal optimist coupled with a positive attitude and always saw the best in everyone he met. Through the many military moves with his family (18 schools for the kids, and 23 moves in 26 years for Jerry and Shirley), he found time to coach (military dependents) sports such as football, soccer, and a rifle program, and additionally, taught Sunday School classes. Even though his family moved several times, he always provided a rich learning, loving, and stable environment. Jerry enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing, snowmobiling, sporting events, and social gatherings with both friends and family throughout the United States and abroad.
Jerry is survived by and lovingly remembered by his wife, Shirley, for 61 years; his daughter Joan Long of Park Rapids, his son Jeff Green of Park Rapids, and grandson Trevor (Sheina) Long of Chaska, MN. Also, he is survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; a son Douglas; and three brothers: John, Glenn, and Donald Green.
Memorial service will be held 11 Am Saturday, June 22, 2019, at the Hubbard United Methodist Church, Park Rapids, MN with Pastor Laurie Kantonen officiating. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the services at the church on
Saturday. Military honors will be provided by the Star Of The North Marine Corps League and the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212.