Willard J. Jerue, 86, of Wausau, passed away peacefully on March 31, 2018 after a one-year battle with cancer. Preceded in death by his wife, Jacqueline McGregor Jerue, he will be laid to rest beside her at Restlawn Memorial Park, 4710 N. Troy Street, Wausau. Respecting Will’s wishes, there will be no service and inurnment will be private.
Will is survived and greatly missed by his son, James L. Jerue (Laurie) of Naperville, Illinois; grandchildren Sarah and Mark; extended family in Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Alaska; and many Wausau neighbors and friends for whom he cared deeply.
Born November 13, 1931, Will was one of four boys born to Raymond and Anna Jerue of Goodman, Wisconsin. He loved the lumber town of Goodman and maintained many dear friends who lived there, or were from there, throughout his lifetime. He was happy to see a historical society take hold there in recent years and contributed many items to it. After high school, where he was both quarterback of the football team and point guard for basketball, Will attended school in Oshkosh before duty called him into the Army during the Korean War. He and Jackie were married 58 years, about 45 of which were spent in Wausau, where Will charmed customers and co-workers at GB Vending for many years.
Will would say, without a doubt, don’t worry about things over which we have no control. A member of the “do it now and it’ll be done” club, he was known for helping family, friends, and neighbors with errands, snow-blowing, landscaping rocks, pet-sitting, or whatever you needed. If he could do it, he would, especially if it resulted in a friendly chat over a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer at the end. He greatly enjoyed his weekly Sheepshead games with the guys and was glad to know them.
Special thanks from our family to the caring medical staff at Aspirus, including the Cancer Center and Hospice House. To the many neighbors and friends who made Will an honorary member of your families, brought over a meal, offered company and rides, helped around the house, or shared laughs and spirited discussion about the Packers or Wisconsin football teams, we appreciate you more than words can say. What a great community!
In lieu of flowers, we think Will would have liked you to honor his memory in any variety of other ways: Smile at the sound of birds chirping in the morning. Check in with a family member or friend. Put things away where you found them. Help a neighbor. Greet someone with a cheery “hello.” Revel in the quiet beauty of a sunset.
And if you’d like to recognize Wisconsin veterans, Will really respected the work done by the Never Forgotten Honor Flight organization. He considered himself so fortunate to have been an Honor Flight participant to Washington, D.C. and it would please him to think that he’d helped other veterans get that same experience.
Memorials in Will’s name can be mailed to Never Forgotten Honor Flight, 4404 Rib Mountain Drive #234, Wausau, WI 54401.