Jerry L. Damman, 90, of Newton, passed away peacefully Sept. 10, 2020, from dementia and loneliness after losing his wife of 61 years, Charlotte, on July 21, 2020. A graveside service will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at Newton Union Cemetery. The family will greet friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. Memorials to the United Presbyterian Church may be left at the funeral home.
Jerry, son of George and Wanda (Cox) Damman, was born July 3, 1930, in Newton. Some days riding his pony, other days walking, he attended a one-room elementary school 3/4 mile from his home and graduated from Newton Senior High School in 1949, where he earned the degree of State Farmer in the Future Farmers of America.
Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force serving his country for most of his four years at Mitchell Air Force Base on Long Island. He always took his leave time in the Spring and Fall to help on the farm. In 1958 he met Charlotte VanGorp during a lady's choice skate at Highview Roller Rink. They were wed Sept. 3, 1959, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. To that union were born two sons, Jeff and Dwight.
Jerry devoted his life to tending his crops and livestock on the 440 acres his grandfather, Henry, had acquired starting 105 years ago. Jerry was a farmer in every sense of the word. He had no use for weeds, cutting thistles with a spade and seeking out patches of buttonweeds in corn that had been carefully recorded while cultivating. He raised farrow to finish hogs for many years and in retirement would always help with sorting hogs for market. Closest to his heart was caring for his Angus and Hereford stock cows taking them a bucket of salt Sunday mornings. His definition of a social life was Grange meetings or going to church, then visiting relatives after church, but getting home by 5 p.m. to get the chores done. A devoted husband and father, he taught his sons the value of hard work.
In retirement, (although neither really retired) Jerry and Charlotte traveled a great deal to many places in the U.S. Jerry’s greatest joy was sitting on his deck and looking down the hill at the farm and seeing his grandchildren grow into productive adults. He was very proud of his grandchildren.
Left to cherish his memory are his sons, Jeff (Lisa) of Ankeny and Dwight (Tammy) of Newton; grandchildren, Desiree (Tony) Cameron of Newton, Ryan (Samantha) Damman of Des Moines, Shelby (Chad) Price of Newton, Rachel (Jonathan) McCann of Ankeny, Derek Damman of Newton and Rebecca Damman of Ankeny; a cousin, Evelyn of Waterloo; brothers-in-law, Eldred of Newton, Carroll (Lois) of Reasnor and Marion of Newton; great-grandchildren, Tabitha, Statler, Meredith, Isla and George; step-grandchildren, Jackie (Matthew) Shea, Sophie and Parker of Unionville, Mo., Dolton Taylor of Westbrook, Minn., Chelsey (Kailer) Stevenson, Jaxson, Rylee, Lillee and Linken of Mercer, Mo., and Dustin (Amanda) Taylor of Newton; along with many nieces and nephews.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte; his parents; sisters, Janet Melcher and Judy Kingery; and brothers-in-law, Jim Melcher and Harrold Kingery.
Jerry’s family wishes to acknowledge the staff of Newton Health Care Center for their care of Jerry for the past three years, Dr. Edwards and Hospice of the Midwest.