Jerry Duysen

Jan 16, 1933 - Dec 29, 2020

Jerry Duysen

January 16, 1933 - December 29, 2020


Gerald "Jerry" Duysen, 87, of Bellevue, NE, and formerly of Henderson, IA passed away on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue, NE.

Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the Carson Community Center in Carson. Loess Hills Funeral and Cremation Center in Carson is caring for Gerald and his family.

Memorials: Family will direct memorials

Gerald Paul Duysen, 87 of Bellevue, Nebraska, formerly of Henderson, Iowa, passed away on December 29, 2020 at the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue.

Jerry was born on January 16, 1933, during the heart of the depression, at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Jerry was the oldest son of a family of six boys and one little girl of August and Elizabeth (Sutton) Duysen. Jerry spent all his childhood years in the Henderson, Iowa area attending Henderson Elementary School, except for a brief time when the family moved to the Phoenix, Arizona area. In Arizona, Jerry attended Balsz Elementary School and helped his Mother and brothers while his little sister Shirley tried to regain her health from Cystic Fibrosis. Although Shirley seemed to improve, she later succumbed to the disease and died at the age of 4. Upon her death, the family returned to the farm near Henderson and Jerry graduated from the Henderson Consolidated High School in 1951. Jerry was active in sports and music. He particularly loved playing basketball and baseball for the Henderson Warriors High School teams. Jerry had a beautiful tenor voice and enjoyed choir and singing in several music groups. In his late teens, Jerry was hospitalized with Polio. He eventually made a full recovery from a disease that crippled or killed many. It was during high school that Jerry met the love of his life, Abbie Elaine Stenger.

Jerry and Abbie were united in marriage on September 27, 1952 in San Diego, California while Jerry served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. Jerry served in the boiler room on the USS Yorktown Aircraft carrier. Following his Honorable Discharge, Jerry, Abbie, and their two young children, Shirley and Paul, returned to make their home on the farm near Henderson. Their marriage was further blessed with the addition of three more sons: Joe, Jack, and James. While farming and raising his family Jerry was involved in many community events and activities such as being an Elder at the Henderson Christian Church and singing at many weddings and funerals.

In his leisure, Jerry enjoyed many happy hours on the banks of the Nishnabotna, the river that bordered the Duysen family farm, fishing for catfish. It was during this time that Jerry and a close friend became interested in air boats and actually built their own boat using an airplane propeller and a Volkswagen motor to power the flat bottom boat up and down the river. Because of his love of fishing, camping, and the outdoors, Jerry eventually continued this passion on the beautiful lakes of Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota catching Northern Pike and Walleye with his family and friends.

In 1979 Jerry and Abbie moved from the farm to 6718 Mayberry Street in Omaha, Nebraska and Jerry began his third career working as a maintenance engineer at Methodist Hospital. Jerry remained an advocate of physical fitness all his life, along with a love of adventure and trying new things. For these reasons he took up running in his 40's and completed many 5 and 10 K races along with three separate marathons; one each with Paul, Jack, and Dan. He learned to ski at the age of 50 and continued taking an annual ski trip with friends into his 70's. Similarly, he planned and completed a bicycling trip around the country of Scotland with Abbie and close friends. He was a lifelong baseball fan and loved watching his favorite team the Chicago Cubs. Jerry's life was full and he loved spending time with family especially his grandchildren, listening to music and singing, and spoiling his cat Dorothy and his little Cairn Terriers Toby, Skylar, and Bobby. After his retirement from Methodist Hospital, Jerry began writing his autobiography and although he was unable to finish it, what he did write is a living treasure of his life's story. Jerry passed away on December 29, 2021 at the age of 87 years, 11 months, and 13 days. He was a loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend.

Jerry and Abbie were married 64 years when Abbie passed away on April 27th 2017. In addition to his beloved wife Abbie, Jerry was preceded in death by his father, August Duysen; mother Elizabeth Edmonson; and little sister Shirley Elizabeth Duysen. After Jerry's death in December his brother Stanley passed away in May, 2021.

Jerry is survived by his children: daughter Shirley and husband Dan; sons: Paul and wife Sharon, Joe, Jack and wife Ellen, and James and wife Kala; 11 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; 4 brothers: Murray and wife Roberta, Doug and wife Bev, Carroll and wife Bev, and Donny and wife Lana along with many other relatives and friends.


Celebration of Life
Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 10:30 am
Carson Community Center

316 S. Commercial St.
Carson, Iowa 51525

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