Gerald Lee Lafferty, Sr. died peacefully in Madison, Wisconsin on July 28, 2014. Gerald (Jerry) was born in Gary, Indiana on January 20, 1933 to Alice Lila Snapp and Kenneth Deane Lafferty. His parents and brother Kenneth predeceased him.
Jerry met Barbara Duschene at Chicago's Wilson Junior College. They married on April 30, 1955 and moved to Riverside, California, where Jerry was stationed with the US Air Force. Just after his service ended, Barbara gave birth to their first daughter, Barbara, and they drove to Chicago to be near their families. Jerry and Barbara had 12 more children - Ann Grieco, Jana Sikora, Jerry Lafferty Jr., Donna Lafferty, Ellen Parker, Glen Lafferty, Matthew Lafferty, Joan Western, Maria Hurst, Suzie Lafferty, Julie Poley, and Kelly Lafferty - and raised them in Burbank, Illinois.
Jerry worked for Spiegel, Inc. as a ladies' shoe buyer from 1957-1972. In the mid-70's he started his own shoe store, Burbank's Best, Inc. He later returned to school to learn computer skills and finished his career at IBM in Chicago.
Jerry had a lifelong passion for learning. An organic gardener, he also practiced yoga and meditation, was fascinated by astronomy, coached Little League, and expressed his political views by writing and calling C-SPAN and local papers. He analyzed handwriting and loved to travel and cook.
Declining health prompted Jerry and Barbara to move to Madison, Wisconsin in 2005 to be closer to two of their daughters. He adapted to their new life without complaint, though struggled as he watched his wife succumb to Alzheimer's disease. Barbara died on May 21, 2012 at the age of 80.
Jerry loved his children, but his greatest love by far was his wife, Barbara. They were married for over 50 years and spent every possible moment together. He is survived by all of his children, as well as 21 grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Cafe of Oak Park Place, 718 Jupiter, Madison, Wisconsin at 10:30 am on August 10, 2014. Donations can be made to the Activities Department at Oak Park Place or to Agrace Hospice Care.