Jerry J. Graddy passed away peacefully on September 21, 2021 at home surrounded by his loving family. Born on March 20, 1931 to parents Oliver & Minnie (Fielder-Brown) Graddy, in Hoxie, Arkansas.
Jerry was raised during the Great Depression picking cotton with help from his 4 older brothers and 1 older sister. Outliving all siblings and being the baby of the family, he once commented “with all the brothers I had, I never thought I would be alone”. He was an outstanding athlete and Star Player in basketball and track at Cloverbend, High School. Breaking several track records and even entering and winning a race with his warm-ups still on.
Colleges wanted to interview him but because he wasn’t able to leave the cotton field, they came to him. Taking measurements of his arm lengths, height and interviewing him right there on the field. He was offered a 4 year scholarship but because his parents couldn’t afford the other expenses, he decided to enlisted into the Air Force.
A Crew Chief for the Air Force, he entered at the age of 17 and was station in Takikawa, Japan during the Korean War. After leaving the Air Force, Jerry then moved to the Midwest and married Judith Null on July 12,1960. Happily married for 61 years they raised 6 children together and he reminded her often she didn’t read the the fine print.
He had a successful career with Interstate Bakery, where he won many awards for “Top Producing Salesman”.
After retiring at 57 he moved to Fort Myers, Florida. If someone would ask him, what did you do for a career, he would say “Bread Man”. He was God-loving, honest, handsome, funny with a quick wit and a tall stature. If you asked him a question he didn’t want to answer, he would answer with a question back.
He is survived by his loving wife Judith Graddy, sons-Ronald Graddy and Scott (Karen) Graddy, (1) daughter Kimberly Graddy (Mike Malak) (1) adopted daughter Patti Null, Grandchildren - Bryan (Jessie) Graddy & Justin (Chrissy) Graddy, Caitlin Graddy and Great Grandchildren Maddie, Eleanor, Jack, Olivia, Grace and many nieces, nephews as well as great nieces and nephews, sister-in-law and brother-in-laws. He is proceeded in death by his parents, son-Greg Graddy and adopted daughter-Susan Whiteland, Brothers- Chelse, Warren, Kenneth, Wendell and sister Noreen.
Ask recently, if he were to return and lived another life, what would he come back as, “I’d be a preacher they work (1) day a week”.
We are really going to miss him but until we meet again may he rejoice in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom, reunited with all family members, friends and pets that passed before.
In keeping with Jerry’s wishes graveside services will be at 11 am on Friday, October 22, 2021 St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park in Granger, IN with military honors. Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home, 1531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46514 is assisting the Graddy family. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 www.stjude.org Online condolences may be to the family at www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105