Jerry Sherman, PER
Jerry Sherman was our Exalted Ruler in 1976-1977. Much to our delight, he has returned to an officer position as Leading Knight for 2015-2016, a position he held 40 years ago.
Jerry was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. His parents were American citizens who migrated to Canada to work in the mines in the 1930’s. Jerry’s father, Ed, was a millwright. The family lived in mining camps throughout western Canada. His mother worked as a cook in the mining camps.
When Jerry was about 2, the family moved to Vanport, Washington, where his father worked building Liberty Ships. Fortunately, the family moved to Portland just before the big flood destroyed most of Vanport. In Portland, his father worked as a steelworker and Jerry’s mom worked as a cook at St. Pat’s Catholic school in downtown Portland. Jerry and his two older sisters attended the same school.
His father then worked for Overhead Door until he met with a terrible industrial accident at work. He was working on a plywood press, which started unexpectedly, and he fell into it. His injuries were extreme; he spent 3 years in the hospital. In order to be able to support the family, his mother worked full-time at a Safeway grocery store. In spite of forecasts that his father would never walk again, he did eventually recover.
His father then obtained a job with a newspaper to sell subscriptions. He and the family moved to Salem, then to Bend. In 1954 he was employed by the Journal as a district distributor. By this time, Jerry was 12 years old and he attended St. Francis School, then Cascade Jr. High and Bend High. While in junior high, Jerry worked at the Tower Theater setting the marquee and also at the Capitol Theater.
During this time, he met Helen Anderson. His boss at the Tower Theater was Helen’s brother-in-law and Helen babysat for their children. Helen and Jerry hung out in the same group.
Jerry next obtained a job at the Trailways Bus Depot. The depot was located on Bond and Greenwood. This job changed his life; he started out as a baggage handler and worked his way up to a ticket agent. The bus depot was the hub of Bend. Most everything that went in or out of Bend went through the bus depot. Bend was a logging community at that time. When the logging trucks, gypo loggers and mills needed parts, they were transported to the bus depot. As the ticket agent, and the bus being the only public transportation in and out of Bend, Jerry was at the center of the community. He got to know many people in Bend including the movers and shakers. Even Christmas presents were transported through the depot.
In 1958, Jerry’s family moved to San Diego, Jerry went with them for a short time, but Jerry did not care for San Diego. At the age of 16, he returned to Bend, and rented an apartment and supported himself. Jerry and Helen dated during high school and when Jerry was 19 and Helen 17, they married, almost everyone said it would never last. They rented an apartment over Rexall Drug, in downtown Bend. This is where Goody’s Ice Cream is located today, on the corner of Wall and Oregon.
Jerry continued to work at the depot and in 1964 accepted a position in Eugene at the Eugene bus depot as commissioned agent. He did not like or agree with company policies of the associated Trailways companies and moved back to Bend within 6 months. Jerry then obtained a position at Sherwin Williams as assistant manager and credit manager. Jerry also worked at Ken Cale Hardware and Sporting Goods at 3rd and Greenwood in Bend. He managed the store for many years, until Ken’s death. In October of 1989 Jerry opened Jerry’s Appliances and TV. In 1993, Jerry built a store on Webster off of Division. He operated his store until 2001, when he had a retirement sale.
Jerry and Helen have been married for 54 years. They have two children, Gerald and Deborah and 1 grandson, Cord.(see pictures below)
One of Jerry’s customers at Sherwin Williams was an Elk member; he encouraged Jerry to join in 1969. At that time, officers and volunteers took turns cooking, cleaning up and washing dishes. The Lodge had many barbeques with large turnouts, sometimes as many as 250 people attending. Jerry was the Social Chairman, (this is not a surprise). Jerry started out as Chaplain and went through all the chairs and became Exalted Ruler in 1976.
Jerry believes strongly in Elkdom. He loves and respects all Elks. He is very proud of his recent return to the chair of Leading Knight. As a member of the Past Exalted Rulers, his most recent project in progress is the erection of a flagpole in Redmond. He is hopeful this will be accomplished by June 14, Flag Day.