Cover photo for Jerry Fork's Obituary
1961 Jerry 2024

Jerry Fork

August 25, 1961 — March 2, 2024

Jerry E. Fork, 62, of Gibsonburg, Ohio died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on March 2, 2024, after a 3 year battle with pancreatic cancer, which he fought with grace, dignity and unwavering faith.

Jerry was a 1979 graduate of Gibsonburg High School and a 1992 graduate of Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and minors in Political Science and History. Jerry was an active and loved Brother of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He also holds an Associate of Applied Science degree from the Community College of the Air Force in Personnel Administration.

Upon his graduation in 1979, Jerry enlisted in the USAF and served until 1983 as a Personnel Specialist in both California and Illinois. Upon discharge from the Air Force, he directly transferred into the Ohio Air National Guard and was stationed at the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio from 1983 to 2005. Jerry obtained the grade of E-7 Master Sergeant before being selected to the commission as a Second Lieutenant and Personnel Officer in 1994. He then ascended to the rank of Major upon retirement in 2005 and served as a Director of Personnel and Commander of the 179th Mission Support Flight.

Jerry’s extensive military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal. He was an in-resident graduate of The Strategic Air Command Noncommissioned Officer Academy and the Air University Squadron Officer School.

Jerry continued to serve Kappa Sigma with honor after his graduation from BGSU. He served as a proud Alumnus Advisor for more than 18 years. He was one of the chapter’s strongest supporters and lent his invaluable advice to his brotherhood on a regular basis. His fraternity brothers know him best by his nickname, ‘Pappy’.

After retirement, Jerry was the primary caregiver for his mother, Lucy, who suffered from dementia. Jerry later was employed at Mauch Farms in Lindsey, Ohio as a semi-truck driver and then by Gibsonburg Exempted Village Schools as a beloved school bus driver and substitute teacher. In addition, he drove charter bus part-time for Bliss Charters of Fostoria, Ohio.

Jerry was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Gibsonburg American Legion Post #17, Wood County Masonic Lodge #112, and Past Master of Gibsonburg Masonic Lodge #575.

He was a licensed FAA private airplane pilot who enjoyed flying as a hobby. He was also the owner and pilot of an experimental Powered Parachute-Paraplane that he loved to fly over Gibsonburg. He enjoyed taking many family and friends for rides over his hometown.

His presence touched the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know him. Jerry, a patriot at heart, served his country with pride, but his impact reached far beyond the uniform. He was a pillar of his community, not just as a substitute teacher and bus driver, but as a friend, confidant, and mentor to countless souls. Jerry’s life was a testament to quiet strength and unwavering dedication. Though he never sought the spotlight, people were drawn to his warm, gentle, and humorous nature. His adventurous spirit made every encounter with him a journey filled with laughter and joy. Jerry lived a life composed of extraordinary chapters, each quietly unfolding with grace and purpose.

As a man of deep faith, Jerry’s positive attitude and curious spirit were infectious. His determination in the face of challenges served as an inspiring example to all who knew him. As a child of God, Jerry lived by principles of love, compassion, and empathy, leaving a permanent mark on those around him.

Jerry was a beloved uncle. He was one who fearlessly engaged in playful wrestling matches, shared jokes that left hearts lighter, had the best whistle that you could hear a mile away, and offered wise advice that resonated with profound sincerity. He shared his love of flying in his paraplane with his family and his legacy will live on in them.

May we remember Jerry, not only for his roles as a teacher, bus driver, and serviceman but for the essence of his being – a kind soul, a steadfast friend, and an unwavering source of inspiration. In his memory, let us strive to live with the same warmth, humor, and love that defined Jerry’s extraordinary life. Though he may no longer walk among us, his legacy lives on in the countless lives he touched, and his spirit will forever resonate in the hearts of those who were fortunate to call him a friend.

Jerry is preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Lucille Fork, his brother John Fork and nephew Stephen Long, all of Gibsonburg. He is survived by his brothers: Denny (Xiang), Kenny (Diane) and Ron (Brenda); sister Linda (Dana) Long, and sister-in-law, Brenda Fork. Nieces: Goddaughter Kerry (Michael) Jones, Jennifer Geoghan, Diane (Jason) Taulker and Danielle Fork. Nephews: Michael (Bethany) Fork, Kevin (Becky) Fork, Josh (Sarah) Fork. Great-Nieces: Alyssa, Gwen, Jackie and Caroline and Great-Nephews: Caleb, Aiden, Mason, Brady, Grant, Austin, and Jameson.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 8, 2024 at the Herman-Veh Funeral Home from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a Mason’s Service at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at Zion Lutheran Church located at 500 S. Brentwood Drive in Gibsonburg, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. followed by the service at 11:00 a.m. For those who are unable to attend, the service will be streamed 1 hour after the service on Zion’s Facebook page. Burial will be at West Union Cemetery with full military honors.

Those wishing to make a contribution in Jerry’s memory are asked to consider Zion Lutheran Church at 500 S. Brentwood Drive, Gibsonburg, Ohio 43431 and Gibsonburg Schools.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Fork, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 8, 2024

2:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Herman-Veh Funeral Home & Crematory

319 W. Madison St., Gibsonburg, OH 43431

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, March 9, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

500 S Brentwood Dr, Gibsonburg, OH 43431

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church

500 S Brentwood Dr, Gibsonburg, OH 43431

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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