Jerome F. “Jerry” Klinker, 83, of Lafayette passed away Friday November 3rd at St. Anthony Health Care after a long battle with heart disease. Jerry was an entrepreneur and businessman, a friend of Lafayette Catholic Schools, a Purdue University supporter and a family man.
Jerry was born December 10, 1933 to Fred and Ottilia Klinker of Otterbein and graduated from Montmorenci High School in 1951. Jerry attended Purdue University until being drafted into the military during the Korean conflict in 1952. After 18 months of training in Germany, Jerry was honorably discharged in April 1955.
In 1958, Jerry and business partners originated Blue Print Specialties in Lafayette, which Jerry managed successfully until his retirement. In 1970, Jerry partnered with a friend and developed Eastern Engineering Supply in Muncie. In 1986, Jerry and longtime friend, Dr. Jim Pickerill, partnered to establish Saint Anthony Health Care, a Catholic nursing home which was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Wm. Higi. For 30 years Jerry has co-operated, treasured and been blessed by Saint Anthony, including the staff and chaplain Fr. Samuel, all of whom he considered family.
Jerry loved Lafayette and the community. He was a member of St. Mary Cathedral, the Knights of Columbus, the Sierra Club and the American Legion. Jerry was a generous supporter of Lafayette Catholic Schools and Central Catholic High School. Jerry loved Purdue University and was a John Purdue Club member. Jerry and wife Shirley enjoyed and attended athletic events for many years.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 57 years, Shirley (Spitznagle) and their children Craig (Cheryl) of Fort Wayne, Neil of Lafayette, Lori (Curt) Johnson of Bow, NH and Lynn (Rich) Unger of Pittsboro. Family gatherings and vacations with his children and grandchildren were highlights of Jerry’s family life and he will be missed greatly by his adored grandchildren, Lindsay, Chelsea, Joseph, Cassidy, Brooke, Paige, Megan, Ashley, and Rachel.
Jerry is survived also by his sister Ottilia “Tillie” Clute, and brothers David and Victor. Jerry was preceded in death by his brother Fred and sisters Catherine Krodel and Mary Thornbury.
The Rosary will be recited at 3:45 PM, with visitation until 7:00 PM Wednesday Nov. 8 at St. Mary Cathedral in Lafayette. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM Thursday Nov. 9 with Fr. Jeff Martin officiating, with the interment following at St. Mary Cemetery with American Legion Post 11 graveside rites. Those desiring may contribute in memoriam to Lafayette Catholic Schools. Hahn-Groeber Funeral Home is caring for the family. Memories and condolences may be left at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com