Gerald Howe

Gerald Howe

Gerald A. ‘Jerry’ Howe of Plainwell, Michigan, died Tuesday, March 13, 2012 in Kalamazoo. Jerry was born July 10, 1947 in Kalamazoo to Aaron and Esther (Johnson) Howe and was a lifelong resident of the area. He was a graduate of Otsego High School and during the Vietnam War served his country in the U.S. Marines. For many years he was employed in the paper industry and during his leisure time enjoyed watching sports.

Surviving are a son and a daughter, Gerald ‘Jerry’ Howe, II of Plainwell and Rebecca (Adam Posther) Howe of Kalamazoo; siblings, Barbara (Bob) Rietkerk of Kalamazoo, Joann West of Alamo, John (Donna) Howe of Grand Junction, Janet (Ray) Penn of Portage, David Howe of Las Vegas and Kenny (Phyllis) Howe of Alamo; many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were three brothers and two sisters, Aaron, Sondra, Harold, Norrine and James. In keeping with his wishes cremation has taken place and a Memorial Gathering will be held at 1:00 pm Monday March 26, 2012 at the Otsego V.F.W. Post #3030.

Contributions in memory of Jerry may be made to V.F.W. Post #3030.

Messages of condolence for his family may be left at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Mike & Tammy says:

    Jerry, We will miss you greatly. You are a great friend to both of us. We are so sorry you have passed

  2. Tammy Iungerich says:

    R.I.P. Dear Friend. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  3. Kyle and Lynn (Krum) Anderson says:

    John (Donna), David,Janet, Barbara, and all the other family members, we find ourselves completely dumbfounded. I had just seen Jerry and his son not 2 weeks ago. We are so sorry for your loss. My husband worked with Jerry at the Plainwell Paper Mill and I have grown up w/your family all my life. (I am Verla Shattuck’s daughter and Gertrude Shattucks grand daughter), I remember running around w/Jerry and writting to him when he was in service. I tried to stay in touch w/him and reach out to him when he was in trouble. jerry had his demons, but all in all I still think of him as a gentle person and will miss him. Our prayers and thoughts will be w/you.

    God Bless all of you,

    Kyle and Lynn (Krum) Anderson

  4. Linda Perrin-Rodriguez says:

    Kenny, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your brother. It’s been years since I’ve seen you but my thoughts are with you now.

  5. Darl and Joyce Gilliland says:

    To the Howe family,
    We are so sorry for the loss of Jerry. We’re keeping you and your family in our prayers. Also, the Class of ’65 is remembering you, too.
    Much sympathy,
    Darl and Joyce Gilliland

  6. Jan Crandall says:

    Jerry was a classmate of mine in the class of 65. All who remember him share the sorrow of your loss. May the comfort of friends and family bring you peace. Jan Sage Crandall

  7. Tiwana (Howe) Pullin says:

    Sorry, for your loss, my thoughts & prayers are with the Howe family at this.

  8. Sherry (Meacham) Hurlbut says:

    Dave, Kenny, Janet and families: I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember all of you from school — first at Alamo Valley and then at Otsego High. Jerry graduated with me and my husband, Don. I have great memories of your family — the bus rides, recess at school, etc. As we get older, we realize how important our memories are. Cherish your memories of Jerry. Hugs to you all!

  9. Skip O'Dell says:

    November 11, 2015
    I loved my uncle Jerry very much. He, along with my aunt Janet and the other aunts and uncles, filled a void in my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters who were old enough to remember, adding quality to our daily existence. Uncle Jerry always inspired me and encouraged me through the years. When we endured the various tragedies of our own family, uncle Jerry consoled us. Through my tumultuous teenage years uncle Jerry was understanding and caring. When he was wounded in Vietnam, I knew he was OK and that he would come home. When he did come home, he was a changed man. I believe I know more about that now.

    Without seeing his DD Form 214 (Discharge papers), this is what I know about him from 1968 to now:
    My uncle Jerry, 3 years older than me, was a Marine in Vietnam in 1968. Like all base camps during the Tet Offensive, my uncle’s camp was heavily attacked by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). He was a clerk in his infantry company because he knew how to use a typewriter, but, like all Marines, he was a rifleman. When the NVA sappers charged through his camp, my uncle fought hand to hand with the enemy. He was armed only with a Ka-Bar knife and his issue shotgun. In military terms we call this kind of fight ‘in close combat’. The Marines saved the camp, but my uncle was severely wounded and flown out with other brave (wounded and dead) Marines by medevac helicopter to a field hospital. My uncle received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his sacrifice and action. This scenario was repeated thousands of time with other Marines, soldiers and other service personnel throughout the Vietnam war. Most of these fine men didn’t fight for ‘God and Country’; they fought to keep themselves and their brothers from dying. After a long recovery in Japan and Walter Reed hospital my uncle returned home. He was a changed man. Over the next 35 years he suffered alcoholism, periods of extended unemployment, divorce, family estrangement, bouts of illnesses and ultimately cancer which killed him 3 years ago. Before his death, his cancer was determined as result of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam and he was being treated by the VA.

    I know my uncle was proud of me, but I was more proud of him.

    Signed: Winston L. O’Dell “Skip”
    (Norrine’s oldest)

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