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Gerald Oachs, 82

Funeral service for Gerald Dean "Jerry" Oachs, age 82, were held Saturday, August 9 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Herman with Pastor David Hanssen officiating.

Internment was at Lakeside Cemetery near Herman.

The Bainbridge Funeral Home of Herman is in charge of arrangements.

Jerry was born December 22, 1931, in Grant County to Walter and Dorothy (Wilkins) Oachs. He grew up in Herman, where he graduated from high school in 1949. After high school he attended the University of Minnesota School of Agriculture in St. Paul.

Jerry married Joan Johnson on December 27, 1952, in Herman and was a devoted husband for 62 years. Together they raised four children. He was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church of Herman.

In 1952 Jerry joined the United States Air Force, training and serving as a Russian interpreter during the Korean conflict. Upon his return from military service in 1956 and until early 2014, he served as chaplain for Hermans American Legion Post 378. As part of his chaplain duties, he was honored to present the U.S. flag to veterans families during military rites at funeral services.

Jerry was a lifelong resident of the Herman area as a farmer and businessman. He began farming in 1956 on the H.B. Johnson farm east of Herman, where Jerry and Joan raised their children. Jerry enjoyed being close to the land and felt privileged to actively participate on the family farm, assisting with farm and machinery operations through the fall of 2013.

In 1968, Jerry became manager of Delaware Mutual Insurance Company in Herman, serving in this role and on its Board of Directors until his retirement in 2000. He served the Minnesota Mutual Insurance industry in several ways throughout his career. Jerry served on the Board of Directors of RAM Mutual Insurance Company of Esko for 27 years. Jerry was proud to serve as chaplain at multiple state and national insurance conventions held throughout the United States during his career. He served his community in many ways, including at his church, in civic organizations, on Cooperative Boards of Directors, and wherever he could lend a hand.

Jerry was an avid fan of all sports. He especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate in athletic events. Although a loyal supporter of Minnesotas college and professional sports teams, he admitted being their fan was "sometimes frustrating."

Jerry passed away August 6, 2014 at Knute Nelson care center in Alexandria.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Joan; sons, Mark (Jayne) Oachs of Herman, Bradley (Lezlie) Oachs of Duluth, and Douglas (Kim) Oachs of Herman; daughter, Karen (Tim) Hurlbut of Farwell; brothers, Jim (Peggy) Oachs of Herman and Kent (Susan) Oachs of Edina; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother; sister-in-law, Leora Oachs; and brother-in-law, Leo Christy.

To sign the online guest book or watch the video tribute, visit