July 13, 1948 - August 2, 2012

Jerry Lorenzen - 1964

Jerry Lorenzen - recent

Jerry Thomas Lorenzen of Richland died on August 2, 2012, at home surrounded by his family.

Jerry lived the vast majority of his 64 year life in Richland, and graduated from Columbia High School with the class of 1966. Jerry served a tour in Vietnam in the Army as a artillery forward observer before returning to the states to become a carpenter. He loved his work and could see something to be made in every piece of wood he encountered. He was a problem solver, a tinkerer, and inventor. Jerry worked in construction, carpentry, and cabinetmaking, for many years in the area and many more at Hanford in Union #2403. Jerry was always there for neighbors, friends, and family - whether it be a repair, a bucket of tools, a ride to an appointment, or just the know-how he would always lend a hand, a shoulder, a warm heart or a strong back.

Jerry loved family gatherings and would cook wonderful BBQ feasts for many of them. His vision for retirement was to hang out in his shop, chase his grandchildren, and just do his own thing. He did just that traveling to see his sons, grandson Donovan, and extended family frequently. Jerry adored Donovan and they spent countless hours building toys in the shop, playing, and just hanging out - they shared a special bond. While he was home, neighbors, friends and co-workers would frequently drop by Jerry's shop and stay for hours for help with their projects, some loud music, conversation, and the beer machine at the back of the shop. Neighborhood children and those visiting would play on the large tarmac of a driveway and if the weather was right they could ride bikes in and out of the garage through the rolling doors. Jerry loved kids and watching them learn and grow. He'd make faces at babies to get them to smile and made handmade toy swords, ponies, dice, dolls, and wagons to keep kids entertained. Almost every project he built was a gift for someone else.

Jerry was a source of knowledge, love, and encouragement to those around him. He enjoyed life and living and fought hard against the cancer that ultimately took him from us. He was a teacher at heart and always would stop to help someone do something the right way. He loved to learn new things and come up with solutions to problems by inventing something to meet his needs or make something better.

Jerry is survived by his sons, Salvatore ('94) and Carl ('98), daughter-in-laws Crystal and Heather; his grandson Donovan and his grandson on the way with Carl's wife Heather, his parents, Carl and Margaret, his siblings, John ('64), Judy ('70), and Jan. His nieces Dawn and Aly, and his nephews Kristopher and Tyler. His great nieces Lyra and Lilly and his great nephews Johnathan and Wyatt. He also leaves behind some great friends including Francis, John, Bobbie, Jake, Doug as well as many other people who loved him.

His time was cut short and he will be forever loved and missed by those who knew him best. He was a devoted son, a loving father, a special brother, a doting uncle and an amazing Papa.

In Jerry's honor his family will be placing a memorial swing bench in a Richland city park near the Columbia River. If you'd like to contribute please contact Salvatore Lorenzen at 208-704-9873.

As Jerry always said "Be good to each other".

The service will be held at Memories at Sunset Event Center off the ByPass highway in Richland on Saturday August 11, 2012 at 1pm. Following the service will be a light reception. Following that there will be a potluck wake in Jerry's Shop after 4pm.

Express your thoughts and memories in the online guest book at