JERALD DONALD "JERRY" MOLNAA ~ Class of 1952
February 10, 1934 - March 17, 2010
Jerald Donald Molnaa, 76, beloved Husband, proud Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and Friend passed away on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at Kadlec Hospital in Richland. Jerry was born February 10, 1934, in Washburn, WI, to Anthony and Harriett Molnaa. Jerry moved to Richland in 1944 where he fell for the love of his life…the girl across the street, Shirley Ann Pittman. Jerry and Shirley both graduated in 1952 from Columbia High School and were wed May 15, 1954.
Jerry served in the U.S. Army from 1956 until he was honorably discharged in 1963. He worked at Hanford as a journeyman electrician, working his way through multiple positions and ultimately retired as a manager at Hanford.
While working and building a life with Shirley, they had four children who now all have families of their own. He made the best Christmases – wow, he loved Christmas! He'd write poems as clues to help find the gifts and wrap the walls with gift wrap... he even had an alias – Ho Ho the Phantom Poet! Jerry loved writing poems and used them to tell stories about people throughout his life. He played piano and guitar and loved to sing and did for many years in the church choir, performing many solos – he even recorded a love song or two for his sweetie, Shirley.
Truly, his favorite thing on earth was spending time with and making memories with his beloved wife, Shirley. Jerry was fortunate to have retired early, at 55, so had many years to spend collecting all kinds of things with Shirley.
More than anything, Jerry collected friends. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. He was such a kind, fun-loving, gentle soul. He and Shirley collected beanie babies, and bird houses, and then discovered McDonald's. Jerry was an avid participant in the ROMEO club... Retired Old Men Eating Out... his group of retired guys who solve world problems over coffee six days a week at Wellsian McDonald's. He and Shirley also collected every McDonald's toy available for many years, which are efficiently cataloged and stored (yes, he was amazingly organized). Jerry also collected McDonald's pins... he had them from all over the world and we've heard a rumor he may have the second largest pin collection in the United States! Oh how he loved McDonald's... he and Shirley were friends with all the employees.
Another passion of Jerry's was his genealogy. He developed his own system of tracking and cataloging and has an amazing collection of proof we may very well all be related. The library in Washburn, where he was born, has one of his giant genealogy charts hanging in their library. He also kept track of weddings, births, deaths – literally all manner of information for everyone he knew. His friends borrow this compendium of information just to look at it because it's amazing. All of Jerry's collections are truly a labor of love, and you can't even imagine how much we're all going to miss him.
Jerry is survived by his beloved wife, Shirley ('52); sons David ('77) (Jill) and Mark ('87) (Wendy); daughters Kim (Scott) Privette and Karis ('83) (Vence) Tenison; sister Jackie ('54) Hunt; brother Richard ('56) (Lauretta); eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and one on the way; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Please join us in the celebration of his life on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, at 1pm at Einan's on the By-Pass Highway in Richland. A reception will immediately follow at Einan's event center.
Jerry is now safely in the arms of his Heavenly Father. Deeply religious, Jerry loved life, but he also embraced the idea of "going home" to join his Lord and Savior... and all of his beloved relatives and friends in Heaven, where he'll watch over us and be waiting for us when our times come.