Gerald (Jerry) Arthur Obert was born Aug. 26, 1924 in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Blanche and Edgar Obert. He was raised on the family farm in Big Rapids, Mich. with seven brothers and sisters, Bill and Betty Obert, Big Rapids, Mich., Norm (deceased) and Adelline Obert, Big Rapids, Mich., Nina and Mid (deceased), Eldred, Big Rapids, Mich., Betty and Nile Hanes, Muskegon, Mich., Jim and Joanne Obert, Big Rapids, Mich., Hazel and Glen Marvel, Big Rapids, Mich., and Dewey and Sharon Obert, Big Rapids, Mich.
At the beginning of WW II, he was drafted into the military, choosing to become a Marine Raider. After basic training at Camp Pendleton, Calif., where he met his wife-to-be (Jean Allen), he was sent to serve in the Pacific. For the duration of the war, Jerry survived under horrific odds, making multiple beachheads and was one of only three men in a company of approximately 160 to survive and make it home.
Upon his return, Jerry and Jean were married, beginning their new life together in the San Fernando Valley in California. Jean has since passed away, but they are survived by their children, Peggy and David Pegg of Fountain Valley, Calif., Paul and Sharon Obert of Casper, Wyo., Penny Vesterby and fiance Mark Kiok of Lake Arrowhead; multiple grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Patricia, Jerry’s oldest daughter, and husband, Boyd Horn, preceded him in death.
Jerry enjoyed a lifetime of hunting and fishing with family and friends. He was an avid outdoorsman and excellent long range marksman. Jerry and his son, Paul, shared hunting adventures across the Western United States, packing into remote areas hunting big game.
Between his outdoor excursions, Jerry worked for 35 years in the aerospace industry at Marquardt and then Lockheed Corporation. At Lockheed, he worked on the SR-71 Blackbird, among other accomplishments.
Once retired, Jerry and Jean moved to Lake Isabella in Kern County, Calif., where they lived for over 17 years. In 2005 they moved to Hesperia, Calif, to be closer to their youngest daughter, Penny. They moved into the Desert Rose Assisted Living Facility a year later. The staff at the Desert Rose soon became like extended family. Jerry lived there until his death on July 14, 2010.
Jerry enjoyed life and the people in it. Family was important to him and he kept his children acquainted with the “Obert Clan” back in Michigan, by taking frequent family trips there in the summers. Jerry was loved by his family and friends, having an infectious smile to go with his many tall tales. His children are proud of their father’s creativity, talents and uniqueness. His passing has left a void in many lives, he will be missed.
Jerry and Jean’s ashes will be interred together at the Kern River Valley Cemetery in Wofford Heights, Calif., along the shore of Lake Isabella.