Gardening 12

Gerald Z. "Jerry" Glaser

April 25, 1930 ~ November 17, 2021 (age 91)


Gerald Z. “Jerry” Glaser died early in the morning on November 17, 2021. He was predeceased by his parents, Louis and Anna Glaser and son-in-law Stephen Arnold of Terre Haute. Jerry lost his wife Delphine “Del” in 2016.
Jerry is survived by his sister, Betty in California. His daughter Rebecca Arnold resides in Terre Haute, as does her son Evan and daughter Shannon. His son Michael remained with him at home.
Jerry was born on April 25th 1930, in South Bend and grew up on both sides of South William Street, where it meets the ball park. Actually, his early years were spent in his grandparent’s meat market on Western Avenue, where his mother worked.
His first job was at a used car lot and because WWII was going on he was granted a special driver’s license before he was 15, along with a car!  Yeah, he got around. Jerry was also the manager of the South Bend Central Football team, before graduating early in 1948. His sights were on the good wages at Studebaker, but he had to wait until he turned 18. He soon met the love of his life on the other side of town and would not let her go. Jerry was wild and Del was normal. How that worked remains a mystery. They started a family, bought a home, but by the early fifties extended layoffs forced him to take a chance with Metropolitan Life. The neighborhood he serviced was the same tough and diverse West Side of his youth. Within three years he was promoted to Assistant Manager and his crack unit was legendary. Out of the blue he was offered a promotion to District Manager. He was only 34, a rare move for the company, but it meant hauling his family to Terre Haute to save a failing office. He not only got it on its feet and kept it open, but was given the chance to return to South Bend in 1968 to rebuild the office he’d left three and a half years earlier.
Jerry did more than fix the South Bend operation. Within a few years the district won two first place production awards and he long included females, African Americans and gays before companies were comfortable with diversity. He also gave a chance to workers left behind as industries failed. His staff grew to nearly forty people, but he made sure that even as the boss no one worked harder than he did.
MetLife was his working life and he gave it his all but retirement loomed. Would he adjust?
Next stop: Dancing lessons. Then it was every Friday at Legion Post 357 and additional visits to social clubs or political rallies and anywhere they had a live band. Toss in the out of town trips to theaters and visits to the family in Terre Haute and there were few open days on Del’s calendar. She loved it. He also gave extra hours to his own landscaping, even if it was close to a full time job. He never claimed he owed Del for spending so little time at home and she didn’t demand it. She probably hoped he’d relax, a little?
As his heart failed, he became homebound the last couple of years. Michael was with him 24/7, but Jerry kept his wits and continued to devour current events from legit journalists. His goal was to die at home and he came close. He was at SJRMC for less than a day. Everyone who attended him was heroic but he was spent.
Sure, Jerry was loud, stubborn and willful, but he was hardest on himself. His recipe was simple: When people tried harder they could do more. He never denied his good fortune, but believed a bit of luck demanded he raise the bar a notch.
A graveside service for Jerry will be held on Tuesday, November 23rd, at 1PM at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Granger, IN,
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Graveside Service
November 23, 2021

1:00 PM
St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park
375 W. Cleveland Road
Granger, IN 46530

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