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Jerry Jene Grider, 87, of Kansas City, Missouri, died peacefully at home May 19, 2020 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. A memorial service will be held when social distancing requirements and good sense indicate it is appropriate.
Jerry was born on October 15, 1932 in Dade County, Missouri to John Austin and Edna Muriel Everett Grider. After graduation from Greenfield High School, he began his career as a carpenter. On February 10, 1952, he married Carolyn Joe Baker—a marriage that lasted 68 years and never lost its romance. Jerry and Carolyn were blessed with six children, five surviving into adulthood. He was a Union carpenter and worked throughout the Kansas City area, eventually becoming the owner of Plaza Construction Company.
He and Carolyn traveled through the world, including trips to London and Paris with grandchildren.
The family attended Central Christian Church, Kansas City, Missouri until 1973, where Jerry taught the high school Sunday School class and served in many leadership roles.
Jerry was an elder emeritus of Raytown Christian Church, where he sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, was a bus driver/sponsor for the youth groups and Inspirations youth choir trips, chaired the general board, and made innumerable visits to sick, hospitalized, and shut-in members. He often sang to those he visited, as well as at funerals and wherever he was! He was a volunteer at the Micah Ministry and served on the Tall Oaks Camp board.
Jerry’s goal was always to love—he believed the gospel was summed up in the word “love.” He always tried to interact lovingly with those he encountered, particularly children, and he had a song ready for everyone.
He is survived by his wife Carolyn, their children and spouses Jean and Keith Mercer, Karen and Dave Seely, Lea and Terry Young, Jon and Sauna Grider, and Mark and Amy Grider. Their son Jay Everett died in childhood.
Jerry is also survived by their grandchildren Kris Mercer, Lynn Mercer, April (Seely) and Aaron Williams, Joe and Morgan Seely, Zach and Lindsay Seely, Blaine and Jessica Grider, Mollie Grider and Allan Newberry, and Alex Grider. Their granddaughter Michelle Seely died in infancy.
Jerry’s great-grandchildren are Layla and Opal Williams, Owen and Foster Seely, William Grider, and Jazmen and Jaylen Newberry.
Chris and Kyle Dahlquist are family, as are our Italian AFS exchange student Maria Lotti and her family.
Jerry’s sister Maysel White, sister-in-law Virginia Grider, brother Charles Grider, brother and sister-in-law Carl and Darlene Grider, sister-in-law Francine Grider, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Max and Peggy Baker also survive, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Gratitude belongs to devoted caregivers Judy Sloan, Tiffany Robins, and particularly Angelita Crater, who made it possible for him to remain at home in the loving care of Carolyn and his family.
His life was blessed, and he was a blessing! We hope memories of Jerry will be a blessing to all who knew and loved him.
Donations in Jerry’s memory may be made to the Micah Ministry (606 Gladstone Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64124,) Raytown Christian Church (6108 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown, MO 64133) or Alzheimer’s research (KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center, KU Clinical Research Center, 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, MS 6002, Fairway, KS 66205.)