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In Memory

Jerry Mehlberg VIEW PROFILE

Afterr a long, long, long struggle with multiple sclerosis, Jerry Mehlberg, age 61, is free of his battered, diseased mortal body and has turned it in for a halo. He died on June 21, 2015 in Valdez - a place he loved with all of his heart. He leaves behind his wife of 40 years, Mary, two sons, Sheldon Mehlberg (Amber) of Valdez and Jacob Mehlberg (Connie) of Chandler, Arizona and five spectacular grandchildren; Wyatt and Ashley of Valdez, Carter, Averi, and Brooke of Chandler. Jerry is further survived by two sisters; Peggy Krueger (Roger), Cindy Lanter (Todd); brother Ron Mehlberg (Deborah) in Wisconsin; numerous family members and many special friends.

Jerry was born January 19, 1954 in Clintonville, Wisconsin, the son of Leslie and Mickey (Germaine) Mehlberg of Caroline. He was a former member of Zion Lutheran Church in Caroline and a member of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic church in Valdez. Jerry graduated from Marion High School in 1972 and completed a five-year plumbing apprenticeship, and married his high school sweetheart, Mary.

Jerry began his work career by working for his idol, Leslie Mehlberg, who Jerry modeled his lifelong work ethic after. He was employed by Watters Plumbing, briefly self-employed as a Journeyman Plumber in Valdez, and then employed as a Maintenance Tech, OCC Controller and Planner at Alyeska Pipeline Company for 20 years - a company he loved.

Jerry loved adventure. After the birth of sons, and finishing his plumbing apprenticeship, he swept up his family and moved to Alaska in 1981 where the adventure of his life began. He learned to downhill and cross-country ski, taking winter trips over glaciers on mountaineering adventures, snowmachining, and loved rafting and canoeing. Jerry and Mary built and remodeled several homes in Wisconsin, Alaska, and Arizona and purchased his dream wilderness property on the historic gold rush trail on Klutina Lake. Jerry carved a full size grizzly bear out of stone and many wood projects. He enjoyed his John Deere tractor, instituted a no smoking initiative in Valdez, enjoyed moose, caribou and bear hunting, boating in the bay, camping trips, and "living his Alaska dream." Jerry invented countless things...some worked...some were disasters but one of his mottos was." I CAN MAKE IT MYSELF". He Jerry-rigged everything with the life-long motto of FINISH NOTHING!

There are two services for Jerry. The first in Caroline, Wisconsin on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church and in Valdez on August 5, at 4:30 p.m. at Saint Francis Xavier Catholic church with Father Frank Reitter presiding. A reception will follow at the Elks Hall where we invite you to come and share your stories of this amazing man and celebrate Jerry's life.

Per Jerry's wishes, his ashes will be scattered in the Mehlberg hunting hardwoods and his wilderness property on Klutina Lake.

Published in the Valdez Star on July 1, 2015

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07/06/15 11:28 AM #1    

Nita McCallum

Oh my... what an awesome, brave man he was.  Jerry was so helpful to me when I moved to the maintenance department in Valdez.  You can't hardly think about him without smiling about some of his antics - I remember when he was hell-bent on catching a baby raven (or maybe it was a crow) - he was going to make it his pet.  Kris and I shared a tear and then a laugh about the holloween that he and Mary showed up as an outhouse and a can of Glade.  Give 'em hell Jerry, we'll all see you before too long...Nita

07/13/15 09:33 AM #2    

Lamont (Monty) Staker

What a great friend Jerry is to many of us that worked in the Mechanical Maintenance team back inthe day.  I remember him coming on my shift when I was a Lead Tech. He had so much ambition and came up with so many ideas on how to do some of our work that no one had experience with. I remember when MS first started to affect Jerry when I asked him to be a 30T RT crane operator and he had to decline with tears in his eyes telling me that he was losing muscle control and did not feel safe performing this operation. I was so proud of him for saying this. He thought of others safety. We were a flexible team so Jerry always had other jobs to perform.

A funny man Jerry was coming up with antics and jokes. Nita M. remembered one of Jerry's Holloween costumes but I remember the one he made himself a male electric plug and Mary was the wall plug. They both got many laughs and of course comments. 

We lost a real good man when Jerry left us and many of us who worked for him miss him greatly.

07/14/15 11:20 AM #3    

Bonnie Cudnohufsky

I met Jerry in 1994 when I arrived in Valdez to work at the terminal on the infamous ANSC project (electrical code violations). He was always pleasant and patiently answered questions from a 'newbie' and yes, he certainly had a mischievious streak! I clearly remember the plug and outlet Halloween costume he and Mary proudly displayed. I was fortunate enough to visit with Jerry and Mary at Rogue's Garden just a few weeks before he died. He was upbeat, interested in hearing about my upcoming retirement and we talked about meeting up in AZ where we both own winter homes. I believe Jerry is in a better place and I hope to see Mary down in AZ this winter to take a hike in Jerry's honor.

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