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Jerald “Jerry” L. Waldrop

Jerald “Jerry” L. Waldrop

June 14, 1940 - August 8, 2018

Jerald Lee Waldrop, 78, of Owatonna, passed away peacefully Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at the Three Links Care Center in Northfield, MN. Jerry was born June 14, 1940 in Mason City, IA, to Burley and Kathryn (Osterkamp) Waldrop and raised in Hanlontown, IA. After graduating high school in 1958, he attended Waldorf College in Forest City, IA and the Chicago Vocational Training school in Minneapolis. After completing a course in mechanical drafting, he began his 36-year career at Owatonna Tool Company where he worked until retirement in 1996. Jerry married Ardythe (Ardi) Ellen Furness Feb. 25, 1962 in Joice, IA and the couple settled in Owatonna where they started a family and joined Trinity Lutheran Church. With their own hands, Jerry and Ardi built the house where they lived for 45 years.

As a young man, Jerry led the choir and played the church organ, in addition to clarinet, accordion and piano. He learned woodworking and cabinet building from his father. He enjoyed gardening, photography, camping, and traveled 49 states with family and friends by Winnebago and even 'riding the rails' in his own Fairmont “speeder” railroad maintenance car.

Around town he was known as the Train Guy. Jerry's passion for all things railroad was instilled as a child, living near the tracks and seeing his father hop on his maintenance rail car each morning until retirement as a section foreman. He would literally chase trains on occasion and call his daughter, Michelle to participate. In 1993, Jerry bought the baggage house from the site of the Union Depot, took it down board by board, and re-constructed it in his back yard. He bought, sold, and repaired model trains from his basement store, Southern Ridge Depot. His smile and conversation will be missed.

He is survived by his daughters, Michelle (Edward) Tarka of Northfield, Marsha (Bobby Jon) Elliot of Hastings; son, Shannon (Carrie) Waldrop of Eagan; 4 grandchildren, Leigha & Joshua Tarka, Sydney & Keira Waldrop; and 1 great grandchild, Emily Tarka.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Ardi.

A visitation will be held at Michaelson Funeral Home in Owatonna on Wednesday, August 22nd from 5:00 to 7:00 PM and one hour prior to the service at church. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, August 23, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Owatonna with the Reverend Amanda Weinkauf officiating. Interment will be at a later date in Bursh Point Cemetery in Hanlontown, Iowa.

Memorials are preferred to Lewy Body Dementia Association, Steele County Historical Society, SEMCAC Senior Nutrition, and Trinity Lutheran Church.

Michaelson Funeral Homes, Inc., 1930 Austin Road, Owatonna, MN 55060, (507) 451-7943

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