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Obituary for Jerome F. Surma

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, November 11, 2017 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in St. Cloud for Jerome “Jerry” F. Surma who died at his home on Tuesday surrounded by his loving family after a battle with liver cancer. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and one hour prior to the services Saturday also at the church. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Sauk Rapids.

Jerry Surma was born at home in St. Wendel, Minnesota on December 10, 1933 to Joseph B. and Mary S. (Krupa) Surma. He had 3 sisters Sally, Janet and Marlene. He was baptized into the Catholic faith at St. Columbkille Church in St. Wendel on December 17, 1933. His Godparents were John Krupa and Cecelia Struzyk. When Jerry was about 5 years old his family moved to St. Cloud.

Jerry’s best friend Benny Lucas was like a brother to him. He met Benny while working at the Ed Dehler Vegetable Garden on Centennial Drive in St. Cloud as a young boy. Jerry and Benny had many wonderful adventures together. Jerry enjoyed spending time with the Lucas family growing up. Jerry attended Roosevelt Elementary School, Central Junior High, and Tech High School where he graduated in 1952.

Jerry, like his father, was born to be a hardworking businessman. World War II and the Great Depression resulted in hard economic times for everyone so Jerry learned at an early age to find ways to earn money to help with family expenses. He had many part time jobs as a young boy and as a teenager. In 1955 Jerry owned the service station Surma’s Service in St. Cloud across from Franklin Manufacturing. He only owned it for one year when he was called to active duty in Korea. Jerry put his heart and soul into his service station while he did own it. Gas back then was 18 cents a gallon.

Jerry loved cars and he had his share of them. His absolute favorite was his 1949 Red Plymouth Convertible that he paid $995.00 for in 1954. He had great times in that car with friends cruising main street or driving in the country with the radio turned up while they sang along to the songs. Jerry loved to dance. His mother Mary taught them in the kitchen of their home. Jerry said the best dance partner he ever had was his sister Marlene. One night at the Holdingford Fun House dance hall everyone cleared the floor to watch Jerry and Marlene dance the Jitterbug! They were that good!

In 1951 Jerry joined the Navy-Naval Aviation Reserves as a Plane Captain. He was in the Reserves for 5 years. Then in 1956 he was called to active duty in Korea where he was a Flight Engineer for 3 years. Jerry was very patriotic and flew the American flag proudly on his house. When Jerry was discharged from the Navy he came home to help his father build the family excavating business. Jerry’s father Joseph started the J.B. Surma & Son Excavating Company in 1948. In the beginning all sewer lines, basements, septic systems and water lines were dug by hand by Jerry and his Uncle Joe Krupa. The company did very well and was well known in St. Cloud and the surrounding area. Jerry’s nickname “Ditchdigger” was painted on the tailgate of his company pickup. Jerry eventually took the company over and ran it until ill health required him to have an auction in 1974. Jerry was very proud of the company his family had built and was saddened to see it close.

Jerry was active in the area VFW’s, Legions and Eagles Club where he was in cribbage and billiard tournaments. He belonged to the St. Cloud Contractors Association, Horseshoe Chain of Lakes Association and the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce. Jerry also enjoyed taking trips to Las Vegas. Jerry loved animals very much, especially his dog Val. He loved watching birds and rabbits in the backyard while he smoked his cigars. He loved going out to Kathy’s son Jeremiah’s farm to see all the animals.

Jerry married Patricia Chance in 1958 and they were divorced in 1967. That marriage gave Jerry two sons whom he loved very much - Steven and Scott. Steven died at the tender age of 10 from cancer. Jerry enjoyed fishing trips with Scott and canning pickles using Jerry’s special pickle recipe. Jerry spent time at the lake with his sisters and their families. He would give them all rides on his pontoon and roundabout boat.

After 4 years of being Jerry’s caregiver, Jerry married Kathy Wruck on August 6, 2011. Jerry loved Kathy’s 4 children - Jeremiah, Shane, Amanda and Abraham and 7 grandchildren. Kathy’s family enjoyed many family gatherings with Jerry, birthdays and holidays, pontoon rides on Buffalo Lake. Jerry and Kathy took a vacation to Seattle, WA in 2013 fulfilling Jerry’s wish to “fly one more time”.

Jerry is survived by his loving wife Kathy of 6 years. His son Scott & Lynn Surma of McHenry, IL. Stepchildren, Jeremiah & Julie Wruck of St. Wendel, Shane & Stephanie Wruck of Buffalo, Amanda Woidyla of Upsala, Abraham Wruck of Hoffman. Grandchildren, Anna, Andrew, Wyatt, Dalton, Maria, Clara and Simon. Sisters, Janet (Surma) Killeen and Marlene (Surma) McMullen both of St. Cloud and nieces and nephews. Jerry was preceded in death by his son, Steven Surma 2/14/70; parents, Joseph 1974 and Mary 1970; sister, Sally Surma-Moline-Eckman 2012; brother-in-law, Roland Moline 1971; brother-in-law, Rodney McMullen 1974; nephew, Bruce Moline 2015; great nephew, Patrick McMullen 2017.

The family wishes to thank the Accurate Home Health Care Team and the CentraCare Hospice Team for their compassion and caring during Jerry’s journey with cancer. Also the VA Medical Center and Dr. Busch for the excellent care he always received.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

10

Nov

4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
St. Peter's Catholic Church

930 31st Avenue North
Saint Cloud, MN 56303

Visitation

Saturday

11

Nov

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
St. Peter's Catholic Church - St. Cloud

930 31st Avenue North
St. Cloud, MN 56303

Service

Saturday

11

Nov

10:00 AM
St. Peter's Catholic Church

930 31st Avenue North
Saint Cloud, MN 56303

Cemetery Details

Location

Assumption Cemetery, St. Cloud

2341 Roosevelt Rd
St Cloud, MN 56301

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