Jerry Workman, age 80, of Joliet, Illinois, and formerly of Ozark and Cassville, Missouri, passed away on Friday, May 22, 2020, at his home after a long illness.
Born in Sparta, Mo., the son of the late Gerald and Jewell (Green) Workman, Jerry was baptized at Shady Grove Baptist Church, at the age of 12. He graduated from Sparta High School in 1958, and the four-year U.S. Department of Labor’s Tool and Die Apprenticeship Program in 1963, sponsored by Royal-McBee Typewriter Company, in Springfield, Mo.
In addition to working for Royal McBee, Jerry worked for FASCO Industries for twenty-two years in Ozark and Cassville, Mo.; Emerson Electric, St. Louis, Mo., for sixteen years; and Brunswick Corp, in Knoxville, Tenn., for three years, before retiring in 2006. Jerry loved his work, which allowed him to travel to many parts of the world as a Manufacturing Engineer, Plant Superintendent, and a New Technologies and Cost Reduction Specialist. While at Emerson Electric, he was granted a patent in 2002.
After retiring, he moved to the Table Rock Lake area, where he and his son, Andy, developed a tract of property for several home sites overlooking the lake near Big Cedar.
An avid sportsman, Jerry loved to hunt and fish, but his greatest pleasure was his children, teaching them how to ride horses, water ski, snow ski, and to compete in sports. He was a driving force in establishing the Ozark and Christian County Little League Program in 1970. In 1979, in Andy’s senior year at Sparta High School, he and his teammates won second place in the Missouri State Basketball Championships for AA schools. This team was developed and coached by Jerry during their formative years, and remains close to this day.
He is survived by his beloved wife of forty-two years, Debra Workman; loving children, Cynthia Dowdy, Omaha, Ark., Jerry “Andy” Workman and Jeff Workman, both of Hollister, Mo., and Julie (David) Knox, St. Louis, Mo.; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sister and brother-in-law, Barbara (Jerry) Kirksey, Bolivar, Mo.; and a host of nieces and nephews, ball players, along with extended family and friends. All remember his warm personality, especially his ability to tell a story and to deep fry turkeys at holidays gatherings.
Funeral services have been held privately in Joliet. A memorial service will be held in Ozark, Mo., at a later date.
Fred C. Dames Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
For more information, please call 815-741-5500 or visit his Memorial Tribute at www.freddames.com