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Gerald "Jerry" E. Wiltse, USAF (Msgt.) Ret.

May 8, 1945 November 4, 2011
Gerald "Jerry" E. Wiltse, USAF (Msgt.) Ret.
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Obituary for Gerald "Jerry" E. Wiltse, USAF (Msgt.) Ret.
Jerry Wiltse, of Brookings, passed away in Crescent City, CA on November 4, 2011. He was 66. Jerry was born May 8, 1945 in Malden, Mass. to Kenneth and Evelyn (Skibbe) Wiltse. He spent his childhood in Greeley, Iowa, graduating from high school in Manchester. Following high school, Jerry enlisted in the US Air Force where he would serve two and a half tours in Vietnam and receive the Bronze Star for his role as radio operator in Dak To from October 23 to November 20, 1967. After more than twenty years of service in the Air Force, Jerry retired and began his second career as an electronic engineer with the FAA specializing in vortac and microwave antennas, and navigational aides. Initially he worked in Las Vegas but later transferred to Red Bluff; he would spend the last ten years of his career there commuting weekly from his home in Brookings. Jerry met Paula Young in Havre, Montana, and they married on September 17, 1971. Jerry enjoyed volunteering his time to area non-profit groups in Brookings such as the VVA, but was most active in the Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts. Having held offices with the Red Shirts including Sergeant of Arms and Vice President, Jerry loved his time with them. He and Paula traveled all over the world including Europe and the Middle East. They also loved putting the ATV’s in the Toy Hauler and heading out to the desert where they would also discover what would become their favorite hobby: rock hounding. They collected, cut and polished may different kinds of rocks and even began a small business selling their hand-crafted jewelry. Jerry was also an avid fisherman and had his own boat - "Flat Broke". Most of all, though, Jerry was a family man. Whether he was spending time with Paula or video-chatting with his grandkids, he loved and was devoted to his family. Jerry will be remembered for his dry sense of humor, his commitment to the local community and its veterans, and as a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Paula of Brookings, daughter and son-in-law, Sheri and Larry Goade of Bainbridge Island, WA, son, Matthew Wiltse of Brookings, brothers, Arthur Wiltse and his wife, Mary of Port Isabel, TX, Bruce Wiltse and his former wife, Lynda Wiltse of Chicago, IL, Roger Wiltse of Greeley, IA, Keith Wiltse and his wife, Debra of Stedman, North Carolina, grandchildren, Wyatt and Garrett Goade. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made in Jerry’s memory to the Brookings-Harbor Red Shirts, 17247 Lumberview Rd., Brookings, OR 97415 or online at A celebration of Jerry’s life will be held on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 1:00pm at the Brookings Elks Lodge, 800 Elk Drive in Brookings. A potluck reception will follow at the Lodge.
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