Jerald "Jerry" Dean Bort, 79, was called home to be with the Lord on Friday, August 28, 2020 at 3:15 pm, due to stroke related decline.
He was born November 30, 1940 in Bunker Hill, the son of Fred and Edith (Kirkwood) Bort.
He married Joyce Verlee (Heuer) Bort on June 15, 1963, with whom he shared the joy of raising their two children and 53 years of marriage before her passing April 18, 2017.
He is survived by one son, Chris Bort and his wife, Sabrina of East Alton; one daughter, Cara Stearns and husband, Kelly of Edwardsville; grandchildren, Sam, Spencer and Simon Stearns, Heather Brown; brother, Fred (Sylvia) Bort of Prairietown; sister, Helena DeMoss of Aurora, IL; sisters-in-law, JoAnn Lesemann of Dorsey and Janette Heuer of Edwardsville.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; infant daughter, Teri Ann Bort; twin brother, Bruce Bort and his wife, Irene; sister-in-law, Janelle Heuer; brothers-in-law, Donald Heuer and wife, Corleen, Herbert Lesemann, and Rev. Walter DeMoss.
Jerry retired as a Captain at Clayton (MO) Fire Department in 1994 after 26 years of service. He had been a volunteer firefighter for 40 years and retired as Fire Chief of the Rosewood Heights Fire Department. He started as a Bunker Hill Fire Department volunteer for 10 years. Jerry also enjoyed a few years as a barber in Alton.
Jerry was a Vietnam veteran, serving in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968. He served in the Vietnam Conflict - 1st Division, including the "Tet Offensive" of 1968. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post 1308.
Jerry graduated from Decatur Barber College in 1958, he graduated from East Alton-Wood River High School - "Class of 1959". He also attended St. Louis Community College - Forest Park earning a degree in Fire Science in 1977.
In retirement, Jerry was a tour guide for the Great River Museum at the Melvin Price Lock and Dam. He enjoyed raveling in the United States and abroad and enjoyed time as a "Friend of the Fox" usher. He was a loving caregiver and handyman to his family, friends and community.
Jerry was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wood River, having served as an elder and usher. He was also a member of the Madison County Fireman's Association.
He was sincerely loved, appreciated and always there for his family and friends, especially his children and grandchildren.
Visitation will be held 9 am until time of service at 11 am, Saturday, September 5 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wood River. Pastor David Schultz will officiate.
Burial will follow in Bunker Hill Cemetery.
Marks Mortuary in Wood River is entrusted with arrangements.