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of Buffalo, MN

April 1, 1939 – June 29, 2024

Visitation

Saturday, July 13, 2024

one hour prior to the service

Buffalo Presbyterian Church – Buffalo, MN

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 13, 2024

2:00 PM

Buffalo Presbyterian Church – Buffalo, MN

Inurnment

Lakeview Cemetery – Buffalo, MN

Gerald (Jerry) H. Aldrich, age 85, of Buffalo, MN, passed away on June 29, 2024 at the Allina Hospital in Buffalo in the presence of family and loved ones.

Jerry, a lifelong resident of Buffalo, was born April 1, 1939 and grew up with his sisters Janice and Marjory on his family’s farm east of town. After serving 4 years in the U.S. Air Force as a B-52 airplane mechanic, he returned to Buffalo and met and married Marlene Triplett, who became his beloved wife of 61 years, on January 5, 1963. They purchased the family farm from Jerry’s parents and built up a successful Guernsey dairy operation. They milked up to 100 cows and farmed several hundred acres of cropland during the peak years. In 1972 Jerry received the Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year award from the Buffalo Jaycees in recognition of his innovative farming practices. After leaving the farming business in the late 1980s, Jerry had a rewarding and successful career at Landscape Structures in Delano, MN, from which he retired in 2007.

While working and raising his family, Jerry also found time to play an active role in the community. He served multiple terms on the District 877 School Board, participated in the Buffalo Rotary, Wright County DHIA, and Mid-America Dairymen. He was an active member of the Buffalo Presbyterian Church where he was an Elder, served on the church board, and was instrumental in the creation of the church’s community garden. He also obtained his private pilot’s license, joined the local flying club, and took friends and family up for rides.

Jerry and his sisters played instruments from a young age and often performed for the family gatherings. He had a particular love for vocal music and was often whistling or singing songs at any given time. He even installed a stereo system in the barn and played country music so “the cows would produce more milk.” He participated in choir while in high school and was one of four Minnesotans selected to sing with the National FFA Chorus at the 1956 annual convention with President Eisenhower in attendance. During his time in the Air Force he sang with The Sheppard Chapel Keynoters on the Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. He later participated as a member of The Bisonaires and the Minnetonka Clippers barbershop quartet. In his later years he rarely missed a choir practice or opportunity to sing in church on Sundays. It brought him immense joy to witness the love of music and singing carry on in the lives of his children and grandchildren.

Jerry remained active and busy well into his retirement. He enjoyed a part-time job delivering auto parts and working on restoring his 1946 Plymouth Coupe. He took great pleasure in traveling around the country with Marlene (and often a grandchild) with their vintage Scamp camper in tow. Lake Kapetogama in Voyageur National Park was a favorite destination they both enjoyed. The family always looked forward to hearing the comically adventurous accounts of their travels.

Jerry always said that family was the most important thing to him. He never turned down a request for assistance whether it was repairing a car or an opportunity to pick a grandchild up from school (which often included a stop for ice cream). He was rarely more happy than he was when his entire family was gathered around the table for a holiday meal. He was a loving, devoted, and immensely generous husband, father, and grandfather who will be sadly missed and happily remembered.

Preceded in death by his parents Frank and Majel (Johnston) Aldrich, and his sisters Janice (Campion) and Marjory.

Survived by his wife Marlene (Triplett); his children Jeff (Mary Sue Stevens), Joel (Michelle), and Nell (Matthew Marsh); his grandchildren Brandon and Charlie Aldrich, Taite and Kellan Stevens Aldrich, and Chloe and William Marsh; and many loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family wishes to acknowledge the compassionate care Jerry received at Park View during the months following his stroke as well as from the caregivers at Buffalo Hospital during his final hours.

Jerry was especially moved by the plight of children suffering from rare medical conditions so memorials may be directed to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org) or, alternatively, to the Buffalo Presbyterian Church Mission initiatives (www.buffalopresbyterian.org) to support their work ministering to those in need.

 

3 Guestbook Entries

  1. Dee McManus

    Heaven may have gained another Angel….but those of us, here on Earth, have lost a Legend! 😔

    Reply
  2. Sandy Christian

    Marlene and family,
    So sad to hear of Jerry’s passing. Heard so many wonderful things about him from Patty, Denny and your extended family, and enjoyed any time spent with you both through the years. I hope you find comfort in the many memories you shared together and the love and support of family, friends and loved ones as you grieve your loss.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time…..Sandy Christian

    Reply
  3. Karla Hult

    My goodness… Jerry clearly led a beautiful and full life and leaves behind the most wonderful legacy. I love — and find so inspiring — his values of work, travel and, especially, family. We’re sending that very family many hugs and prayers of support. May you find comfort in these beautiful memories and in knowing Jerry is now and forever reaping his peaceful rewards.

    Much love to all of you,
    Karla, Gary, Grace and Isabella

    Reply

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