A celebration of life will be held on Friday, August 7, 2020 at 5:00pm at 33021 Q RD, Ogallah, KS. Due to the coronavirus, if you have a fever, cough or not feeling well, please send condolences via email, on-line guestbook or mail. Social distancing will be suggested at the celebration, so please bring a lawn chair if you have one.
On July 19, 2020, at the age of 73 years old, Jerry Vern Summers passed away at his home in rural Ogallah, Kansas after a battle with liver cancer and ultimately COVID-19. Jerry was born at home in Winona, Kansas on March 8, 1947 to Oliver and Ecil (Finch) Summers. He started grade school in Winona, and his family moved to Grainfield, Kansas where he attended school through the 8th grade. In 1967, Jerry moved to Rochert, Minnesota to attend the Tamarac Job Corps Center and complete his GED.
After graduating from Job Corps, Jerry stayed in Minnesota and worked for Rights Tree Service clearing trees. He learned the skills of logging and became the leader of a crew of six or more men. After spending most of the winter in Minnesota, Jerry came back to Kansas. He always said he would not go to Minnesota in the winter, which to him, felt like it lasted about nine months out of the year, and the summer wasn’t even warm enough for him to go swimming!
Jerry’s work experience included working at a grain elevator, being part of the construction crew that built the Interstate 70 bridges from Grainfield all the way to the Colorado line, operating heavy equipment for an earth moving company, 17 years as a section man with the Union Pacific Railroad, public works operator for the City of Grainfield, building and remodeling homes for a construction company and housekeeping at Gove County Medical Center. After retirement, Jerry re-entered the workforce to become a seasonal employee at Cedar Bluff State Park for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. During this time period, Jerry also joined the AmeriCorps Program where he helped with events at Cedar Bluff and various other parks in Kansas, and attended training workshops. Jerry always said “he was a jack of all trades, master of none.”
Jerry married the love of his life, Connie L. Mong, on August 7, 1970, in Grainfield, Kansas. This year, they would have celebrated 50 years of marriage. To this union, two daughters were born, Verda Kay and Gerri Lou. Jerry and Connie lived in Grainfield for 42 years before retiring to a home in the country south of Ogallah, Kansas. Most people move to town to retire, but not Jerry and Connie. Jerry always wanted to retire near a lake, but not at a lake, because he felt one would have company all the time. He enjoyed the sounds of nature and watching the wildlife wander through the property.
Jerry enjoyed spending time with his girls. He would teach them everything he knew, as if he had boys, tomboys that is! He showed them how to hunt with a bow, shotgun and rifle, trap, fish, camp and even how to change the oil and tires on your vehicle. He also enjoyed building the things their imagination would come up with and attending their school activities. In his spare time, Jerry liked to take a piece of wood and carve something out of it. One might even find a sample of his art in a tree stand he used for deer hunting!
Many fond memories were created with his grandchildren: Todd, Ticha, Murrae, Dakota, Cole and honorary grandchildren Wyatt, Wendell and Angel. Jerry had the gift of loving anyone as his own. The word “family” was very much a part of his life. He gave his family and anyone who would come into his life many memories that will carry them through the rest of their lives. There will always be a story to tell!
Survivors include his wife Connie, of the home, two daughters, Verda Kay Flinn, of Ellis, Kansas; Gerri Lou Tauber of Ogallah, Kansas. Grandchildren include Todd Flinn (Danielle), Ticha Altman (Ryan), and Murrae Rebarchek all of Oakley, Kansas; Dakota Rebarchek (Taylor) of Quinter, Kansas; Cole Feldt of WaKeeney, Kansas. Great grandchildren are Kenzie, Kaylen and Easton Flinn; Shayna, Jessyna and Alyna Altman; Ayre Stephen and Brinley Rebarchek. Siblings include a sister, Dixie Taylor (Jack) of Heber Springs, Arkansas; two brothers, Lonnie Summers (Lee) of Whitewater, Kansas; Bill Summers (Bev) of Topeka, Kansas along with a host of nieces and nephews.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Oliver and Ecil (Finch) Summers, a brother Bobbie Summers, and son-in-law Douglas Feldt.
Due to family members in quarantine because of COVID-19 contact tracing, a celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Memorials contributions are suggested to Cedar Bluff State Park or to the family to be used as needed and may be sent in care of Keithley Funeral Chapel 400 E. 17th Ellis, KS 67637 or mailed to C/O Connie Summers, 33021 Q RD, Ogallah, Kansas 67656
Condolences may be left at the on-line guest book: www.keithleyfuneralchapels.com or emailed to: email@example.com
To send flowers to Jerry's family, please visit our floral store.