Jerry was born and raised in Henderson, Kentucky, where he graduated from Henderson High School in 1956.
In 1957, Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. Upon graduation of Hydraulic Control School at Chanute AFB, Illinois, he was assigned to Pinecastle AFB (later McCoy AFB) where he worked with ground crews on B-47 and B-52 SAC bombers. The Wing was transferred to Homestead AFB in South Florida a short time after Jerry arrived. He was then sent to school at Redstone Arsenal where he learned top-secret missile controls leading to an assignment in Ishmir, Turkey, where the U.S. was assisting in building a missile site. By the time of his Honorable Discharge in 1966, he had become an experienced member of a Missile Firing Crew, highly qualified for a good job in industry, North American Rockwell was “waiting at the gate” and hired Jerry as a Tech Writer. In 1971, Jerry started Kar Kare Parts and Services in Orlando. He still operates that business as well as All Travel Services and Lakedrive Mobile Home Park.
In 1970, he was raised to Master Mason in Moses Cook Lodge #111, Picayune, Mississippi. It was in Picayune that he first met Ill Sir John Riels. Jerry later demitted to Pine Castle Lodge #368. He completed his Scottish Rite and York Rite in 1971 and became a member of Bahia in the Fall Ceremonial that year. He joined the Drum & Bugle Corps and served as Director in 1980 and 1981, and was President in 1982. In 1985, Jerry was elected President of the Florida Shrine Association Drum & Bugle Corps.
Jerry was an Ambassador in 1982 and Potentates Aide in 1990,91,and 93. He was co-chairman for the 1992 and 1998 Imperial Session Marketplaces. He was Bahia’s housing chairman and 2nd ceremonial master in 1998, served as 1st Ceremonial Master in 1999 and director of the Royal Order of Jesters Court #166. He was FSA housing chairman in 2000 and has the distinction of having the first 2 consecutive sellouts for the Octoberfest of 2002-2003. Also in the year 2000 Jerry had the honor of being elected Oriental Guide. In 2003 Jerry established a new club called the “Sheiks” which helps introduce new members into Shrinedom.
On April 20, 1999 Jerry and his lady Debbie were married during Ill Sir Mikey Juett's getaway trip to Las Vegas.
Jerry leaves to cherish his memory his wife Debbie, son Jerry, Jr of Charleston, SC, daughters Sherri Vogl of Kissimmee, Crystal White of Orlando, brothers William Higginson, Jr of Henderson, KY, Bernard of Osprey, FL, five grandchildrena dn two great grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made in Jerry's memory to Shriner' Childrens Hospitals c/o New Smyrna Beach Shrine Club 1111 South Orange Street New Smyrna Beach FL 32168.
Life Celebration will be 4:00 PM Sunday, March 13, 2011 at Bahia Shrine Center Pembrook Drive Maitland, FL.