Gerald Carl Whiteford went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 12, 2019, at his home in rural Santa Margarita with his family by his side. Jerry was born Aug. 25, 1931, in Detroit, Mich., to Carl and Rose Whiteford and was the youngest of eight children. On his mother’s side, he could trace his roots to the earliest settlers of New France in Canada.
Jerry’s youth was shaped by the Great Depression. He learned to enjoy the simple things in life and the value of hard work. He told stories about playing sports in Clark’s Park, swimming in the Detroit River and sharing adventures with his brothers, Pat and Jim. Always looking for an adventure, Jerry left home at 15, and traveled, usually by freight car, all over the United States. He picked fruit in Florida, Texas and Arizona and spent time working at carnivals in California. At 16, his journeys took him to Salinas, where he forged his dad’s signature and joined the Army. Jerry’s 10 years in the Army took him all over the world. While at Camp McCoy the Korean War broke out. He served 18 months in Korea as a rifleman with L Co. 38th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division, and of all his honors and recognitions, he was most proud of his Combat Infantry Badge (CIB). Injuries suffered during the war eventually caught up to him and he was later classified as a 100% service-connected disabled veteran.
After his service, he moved to Atascadero to be near relatives. While running the Rinconada General Store he met Juneln Bell Andrews, and a friendship and love developed. Their 54-year marriage produced a son, Michael and a love that lasted until Juneln’s passing. His devotion to his wife was only matched by his love of family. He relished spending time with his family and he was always willing to help with their activities. He took great joy and pride in his grandchildren. He loved attending their events and was their greatest cheerleader, counselor, and most importantly, their friend.
Jerry worked at the Cal Poly bookstore warehouse from just prior to his marriage until retirement. His love of sports led him to be on the local VFW bowling team, and for many years he played and managed the Cal Poly staff softball team. After his retirement, Jerry continued his life of service. He was a life member of the Second Indianhead Division Association and served as the California State President and as a member of the National Board. Together, Jerry and Juneln were active with many local organizations. In 2002, Jerry and Juneln were honored as King and Queen of the Days of the Don Parade in Santa Margarita. Jerry served as the Superintendent of the Rinconada Country Church for many years. Jerry’s love of the Lord was paramount and every morning began with reading the Daily Bread, prayer and a cup of coffee. Jerry will be remembered for his patience, kindness and generosity to others.
Jerry is survived by son, Michael and his wife, Andrea, their three children, Connor, Joseph (his wife, Kati) and Alexis Whiteford; son George Andrews and his wife, Susan and their three children, John (Tamara) Andrews, Katherine (Jordan) Merrill, Debbie (Marty) Imes and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his beloved nephew Jim and his wife, Lauri Blake, who always put a smile on his face.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the 2nd Indianhead Division Association Scholarship Fund, Post Office Box 218, Fox Lake, IL 60020.
Services will be held Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at 10 a.m. at Wheeler-Smith Mortuary in San Luis Obispo.