Gerald, better known as Jerry, Stratton was born at his grandparents farm outside of Spring Valley, WI in 1939. He grew up with many beloved siblings and believed in working hard to support his family. He also believed in playing hard and working hard with his friends in Eau Claire high school. After highschool, he still worked hard, sometimes two to three jobs at a time, to support his new young family of five children. He even went back to school to gain more knowledge in computer systems.
Jerry was quite the handyman. He built an addition on his Cottage Grove home. He had practice after he built the walls in his parent’s home, adding a bathroom and an addition. He had a vast knowledge of all things mechanical and he worked many different kinds of mechanic jobs during his long career. However, when his wife Ruby wanted a new addition at their rural home in Denmark Township, he agreed he could supervise a contractor instead.
When he wasn’t building an addition, he was tinkering. In retirement, he restored a 1925 Model T 4-door sedan and 1925 Model T Depot Hack. He and his friend scoured the county (and Twin Cities area in general) for Model T parts, enjoying the Model T community at sales, and during Model T trips. He also gave Model T rides to friends and family. He displayed his Model T in parades and took the long drive to Luck, WI to display his car during Lucky Days. He also restored his uncle’s old International tractor so he could hook up the trailer to give his grandchildren rides in the fields for a different fun activity.
He was an active church goer his whole life and his faith was an important part of who he was. However, even in church he used his mechanic skills. He was a sounding board for the CG United Church Christ addition and even helped with clean-up during the project.He was also part of starting up the Farmer’s Market team, attended several study groups, participated in the Live Nativity, and just enjoyed the people in his faith community.
Jerry was a supportive and caring father that encouraged his children in academics and sports. He loved attending events for his children and grandchildren and helping them with projects. Hockey, soccer, baseball, art project or any event, he was up for it.
Over the years, Jerry loved fishing, camping, traveling with Ruby, dancing, bowling, golfing, chisel plowing, and puzzles. He also enjoyed social events with friends and family, always wanting everyone to have a good time. He remained involved in his community, going out to breakfasts with friends from Denmark Township. Family was also important to him, he never missed a wedding or celebration and enjoyed small gatherings and 1:1 time with a friend or family member. One of his favorite things to do at Norris Square was attending movies and events with his sister.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Ruby (Brendemuhl) of Cottage Grove, MN; his children, Daniel (Ann) of Cresskill, NJ, Sandra Quinn (Tim) of Cottage Grove, MN, Michael (Katy) Bell Grade, MO, Jodie Andrus (Mike), Hackensack, MN, Tracie Lemke (Bill), North Branch, Joan Blom, Solway,MN, Donna Colburn, Santa Rosa, CA, Jim Hanson, Trabuco Canyon, CA, Debra Hanson (Bryan), Woodbury, MN; 16 grandchildren Danielle, Patrick, Caitlin, Cassandra, Sam, Jake, Jaclynn, Luke, Jordan, Michelle, Daniel, Jakki, Katie, Courtney, Ashley, and Hunter; 14 great grandchildren Bennett, Ciaran, Judah, Breezy, Samson, Tristan, Nolan, Johnathan, Christian, Zack, Kayli, Elizabeth, Wyatt, and Kali; his sisters, brothers, and many, many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Elsie, sister Eleanor, and grandchild Ruby.