Gerald (Jerry) Steepleton
Gerald (Jerry) Eugene Steepleton, 84, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Friday, March 16, 2018, at the Hiawatha Care Center, his residence for the last two-and-a-half years. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, Cedar Memorial Funeral Home with a vigil service to be held at 7 p.m. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 21, at St. Pius Catholic Church.
He was born in Vinton, Iowa, on Oct. 2, 1933, to Mahlon (Steve) J. and Frances O. Steepleton. He was the eldest son of their 11 children and excelled in football and track, eventually earning a place in the Hall of Fame at Vinton High School in October 2008. He graduated and later joined the 504th Airborne Infantry Regiment from Oct. 12, 1953 to Oct. 11, 1955, with 26 airborne jumps to his credit. He married the sunshine of his life, Colleen Virginia Reilly, on Oct. 22, 1955, in Van Horne. Jerry and Colleen were married 57 years. They settled in the Noelridge Park area of Cedar Rapids, where he worked for Home Town Dairy and Colonial Bakery before buying his own business, Odorite of Eastern Iowa. During this time, Jerry and Colleen raised seven children while he grew his business. He made it his mission to talk to every person he would meet and share a joke and a smile.
After he retired, Jerry and Colleen enjoyed their winter excursions to Arizona, Nevada, Florida and California. His greatest joys were his grandchildren. He couldn't stop sharing his stories about them.
Jerry and Colleen were charter members of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids and his faith was always his compass. Jerry and Colleen cofounded the St. Luke's Parent Support group for parents who have lost children to cancer. Jerry was a life member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5390, which awarded Jerry the Family of the Year award in 1978-79. "Ole Jer" never met a person he didn't like. He was known for his great humor and easy going personality.
He will lovingly be remembered by his six children, Theresa Nance (TJ) of Corona, Calif., Rick (Michele) of Cedar Rapids, Marty of Cedar Rapids, David (Jennifer) of Rowlett, Texas, Carol Steingreaber (Paul) of Cedar Rapids and Brenda Origer (Tony) of Greenwood, Ind. He will be forever admired by his 16 grandchildren, Leah, Lindsey, Ali, Tommy, Scott, Megan, Emily, Mahlon, Amanda, Jackie, Nicki, Kate, Nick, Olivia, Elizabeth and Josie; and his six great-grandchildren. He leaves behind his five sisters, Carolyn Curtis, Janet Metz, Joanie Fox, Julie Wilson and Mary Roemig; two brothers, Joseph and Patrick Steepleton; and many nieces, nephews and close friends.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Colleen; cherished daughter, Sherri Ann; his parents, Frances and Mahlon; his sister, Joyce; and his brothers, Steven, James and John.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the Hiawatha Care Center staff for the care, support and love they showed their father, Jerry.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for St. Jude's Research Hospital. Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.