Gerald Joseph "Jerry"
Beer, 84, of Cedar Rapids,
died Oct. 19, 2018. A funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, with internment at St. John's Cemetery. Father Chris Podhajsky will be presiding. A prayer service will begin at 4 p.m. with visitation to follow until 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at Papich-Kuba Funeral Home, 1228 Second St. SE, Cedar Rapids.
Jerry was born Sept. 18, 1934, in Festina, Iowa, the son of Raymond and Rose (Herold) Beer. Jerry grew up on the family farm in northeast Iowa, attending country school Glenwood No. 4 Rockswold in Winneshek County. In 1951, he moved to Cedar Rapids and began working at Collins Radio, in the factory and also at Arthur Collins' residence. He retired in 2013 after working 60 years for Rockwell Collins. He will be remembered for his undeniably strong work ethic in everything he did.
Jerry married Patricia Ruzicka on May 7, 1955, at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Cedar Rapids. They were blessed with three children and six grandchildren, and one on the way in December. He loved his wife, children and grandchildren very much and cherished his time with them. Jerry always worked very hard for his family.
Jerry was a man of deep and constant faith. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Lourdes and the Sacred Heart. He attended Mass religiously and always carried a rosary in his pocket and a Sacred Heart pendant in his wallet. Jerry also was committed to helping others. He volunteered many hours at St. Wenceslaus Church in its restoration after the flood of 2008. He would lend a hand to anyone and cared deeply for the needs of others.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia; daughter, Jeanne (James) Kewley, Marion; sons, Dr. Steven (Terra), Cheyenne, Wyo., and Dr. Bradley (Janette), Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Crossland, Simon, Eliott and Anna Beer of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Meredith and Lydia Beer of Cedar Rapids; sisters-in-law, June Beer, Jean Beer and Barbara Ruzicka; brothers-in-law, Robert (Theresa) Ruzicka, Matthew Ruzicka (Mary Henderson), Dennis (Karan) Ruzicka, brother-in-law, Alan Smejkal (Sybil Merfeld); and many nieces and nephews.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Arleen Collins and husband Quentin; and brothers, Raymond and Robert Marvin. He also was preceded in death by his mother- and father-in-law, Matthew and Mary Ruzicka; brother-in-law, Ronald Ruzicka; and sister-in-law, Mary Lou Smejkal.
Jerry served in the United States Army Reserve as a lieutenant colonel in the 1st 410th Infantry Battalion. He was the battalion commander and instructed at the Command and General Staff College. He retired from the military after 30 years of service.
He was an active member of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church and life member of the Reserve Officers Association, American Legion and National Rifle Association.
Our part of the world will never be the same without our husband, father and grandfather. He will be missed greatly.
The family wishes to extend a special thank-you and blessing for the amazing care and compassion given at West Ridge Care Center, and by Dr. Jason Booth and Mercy Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Wenceslaus Church, Cedar Valley Humane Society or Hospice of Mercy.