Jerry Rous, 65, died peacefully in his sleep at his home, 1917 2nd Lake Drive, Junction City, WI on Tuesday, October 11, 2011.
Jerry was born in Monroe Center, Adams County, Wisconsin to Agnes (Sutherland) Rous and the late Ben Rous on February 13, 1946. He was born at home before the doctor arrived, eight weeks early and weighing only two-and-a-half pounds. He was tended by his parents, grandmothers, and big brother and spent his first weeks in a bushel basket with hot water bottles, fed with an eye dropper.
Jerry grew up in the town of Rome, Adams County, and graduated from the rural Chester Grade School and later Alexander High School in Nekoosa. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1968, a Masters of Science in Sociology from Illinois State University in 1971, and a Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980.
Jerry taught Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) from 1971 to 1981. He worked for the Portage County Department on Aging from 1981 to 1993 as Assistant Director of the agency, responsible for Access Services and Adult Day Care. Jerry then returned to UWSP in the Office of Continuing Education as a Program Manager for Outreach and the Collaborative Degree Program until his retirement in August, 2008. Upon retirement, Jerry was named Lecturer Emeritus of Sociology by the Chancellor.
Jerry was active in the Stevens Point community and was a former member and chairperson of the Portage County Commission on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Center Board. He was an officer and founding member of the Portage County Council of Community Services, the Portage County Interagency Council for Elderly Services, the Alzheimer's Association – Greater Wisconsin Chapter and the state-wide Transportation Coordinating Committee. Jerry was part of the Portage County Leadership Program, where his group's project involved development of a place for recreation for children of all abilities. The project was realized in the KASH – "Kids are Special Here" – playground now enjoyed by the entire community.
Jerry married Patricia "Patti" Adler on December 27, 1969 in Mazomanie, Wisconsin. The couple moved to the Stevens Point area in 1971. Their daughter, Sarah Adler Rous, was born on October 20, 1984.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Patti, at home, his daughter, Sarah, of Cambridge, MA, his mother, Agnes Rous, of Nekoosa, sister Joyce (Jim) Murray of Nekoosa, brother Gay (Darlene) Rous of Woodbury, MN, his wife's siblings, Ron (Connie) Adler of Mazomanie, Bev (Don) Ripp of Black Earth, Joyce (Phil) Prosa Cowling of Lodi, and Larry (Tammy) Adler of Mazomanie. He is further survived by many aunts, an uncle, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and his Stevens Point family of friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Ben Rous, his wife's parents, John and Olive Adler, and wife's sister, Jackie Adler, and her husband, Steve Key.
Jerry enjoyed camping trips with his wife and daughter to many of our State and National Parks with several VW Campers, as well as cross country skiing, fishing, reading, playing the accordion, visiting museums, playing cards, and boating on 2nd Lake and the Wisconsin River. Jerry enjoyed watching his talented daughter, now a PhD student at Harvard University, in school/community sports and musical and academic events. He was a season ticket holder for UWSP Pointer Men's Basketball, and enjoyed the Badgers, Packers and Brewers. One of his fondest memories was being present at Milwaukee County Stadium when the Brewers won two World Series games in 1982.
In lieu of flowers, two memorials are being established in Jerry's name. The Jerry Rous Learning and Technology Fund at the Portage County Aging and Disability Resource Center, will be used to advance learning through the use of technology for older adults and people with disabilities, ADRC, 1519 Water St., Stevens Point, WI 54481. A second memorial through the Central Wisconsin Community Foundation, PO Box 968, Stevens Point, in the KASH Playground Endowment Fund, will be used to cover future equipment replacement and maintenance to ensure that KASH will continue to be a premier playground for all to enjoy. Please note "for Jerry Rous memorial" for both funds.
Special thanks to Jerry's caregivers from Home Care Services Inc., Peter and Sukhi, and to Ministry Home Care, Ministry Home Care Plus, and Ministry Hospice for assistance and services allowing Jerry to live out his last year at home overlooking the Wisconsin River surrounded by loving family and friends. Special thanks also to family, friends, neighbors, and CarePages readers who supported us in so many ways over the last few years of a difficult journey. Jerry will be remembered for his infectious smile and the sparkles in his beautiful brown eyes. His love will be greatly missed.
A Memorial "Celebration of Life" will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2011 in the Laird Room, Dreyfus University Center, 1015 Reserve Street, UWSP, Stevens Point, WI 54481. Gathering at 3pm, memorial 4pm, dinner 5pm, followed by live music and dancing until 8pm. Music will be provided by family and friends. Jerry loved a party and hated to play to an empty dance floor, so bring your dancing shoes.
For online condolences please visit www.pisarskifuneralhome.com