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Published January 05, 2014, 12:00 AM

Jerome "Jerry" Andrew Kochmann

Jerome "Jerry" Andrew Kochmann, 89, passed away January 3, 2014, at the Mahnomen Health Center. He was born June 24, 1924, near Beaulieu, MN, to Julius and Veronica (Athmann) Kochmann.

Jerry grew up on the family farm with three brothers and three sisters. He attended North Elementary School and graduated from Mahnomen High School in 1942. After high school, he remained at home continuing to farm with his father and worked various odd jobs.

Jerome "Jerry" Andrew Kochmann

Jerome "Jerry" Andrew Kochmann, 89, passed away January 3, 2014, at the Mahnomen Health Center. He was born June 24, 1924, near Beaulieu, MN, to Julius and Veronica (Athmann) Kochmann.

Jerry grew up on the family farm with three brothers and three sisters. He attended North Elementary School and graduated from Mahnomen High School in 1942. After high school, he remained at home continuing to farm with his father and worked various odd jobs.

He enjoyed music and loved to play the trumpet. His first dance job was at the age of 14 in Bejou, MN, where he earned .75 cents for a nights work. In 1944, Jerry organized a dance band known as the Knights of Harmony traveling the countryside playing at weddings and other events.

In 1945, Jerry met Violet "Vi" Ione Starkey. The couple dated for three years before being united in marriage on June 15, 1948, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Beaulieu. They were happily married for 65 years.

Jerry began work for Kaiser Hardware and Implement Co. as a parts man where he worked for several years. He later purchased the Mobil Bulk Oil in Mahnomen but realized after two years it wasn't for him and sold the business to Alphonse Klinkhammer.

In 1953, he accepted a position as a parts manager for Wilson Brothers in Thief River Falls, MN, which started a career that lasted 38 years. In 1958, the family moved back to Mahnomen where Jerry managed the new Wilson Brothers store in town. He officially retired in 1991 but was called back on occasion to help out at the store.

Jerry and Vi were blessed with six children: Myron, Michael, Marilynn, Charles, Margaret, and Brent. As the children were growing, he decided to purchase a lot on Roy Lake. Jerry was a handyman and he did his best to pass his carpentry skills onto his children as they created the perfect family get-away. Many family gatherings, friendships and memories were made over the 33 years they owned the property. Jerry loved his family and took great delight in his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jerry liked to travel. He and Vi enjoyed vacationing in Aruba, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Montana and spending the winters in Arizona.

He enjoyed carpentry especially carving, wood working, and refinishing antique furniture. His attention to detail and meticulous work resulted in many beautiful pieces that he shared with his family and friends.

When back in Minnesota for the summers, he kept busy playing with the Cathy Erickson Band traveling throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Canada performing at dances, polka masses, and church services.

Jerome or "Jerry" as he was affectionately known by his friends and family, was a quiet man and had an unassuming nature. He was extremely loyal, dependable, and hardworking. He always gave of his time without complaint and enjoyed volunteering in his community.

He was a member of the St. Michael's Church, Knights of Columbus holding several positions and Knights of the 4th Degree. Jerry held office in the Roy Lake Association, Mahnomen Historical Society and the Mahnomen Boosters. He was also a recipient of the Golden Deeds Award for his community service.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Veronica; brothers, Alphonse and Norbert; sister Luella Ahmann; sisters-in-law, Rachael and Josephine; brothers-in-law, Albert Ahmann and Harley Starkey.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Violet, of Mahnomen; his children: Myron (Susan) of Mahnomen, Michael (Mary Ann) of Maplewood, MN, Marilynn (Miles) Coyle of Waubun, MN, Charles (Kimberly) of Mahnomen, Margaret Kochmann (Rick Pederson) of Brainerd, MN, and Brent (Stacey) of Blaine, MN; grandchildren: Janet Kochmann, Chad (Lisa) Kochmann, Angela (Randy) Kent, Lance Kochmann (Lindsey McCloskey), Stacy Coyle (Phil Brondyke), Anthony Coyle, Mac Kochmann, Mitchell Kochmann, Nate (Sarah) Peterson, Amanda Peterson, Niklas Peterson (Emily Burns); great-grandchildren: Andrew Docken, Amanda Docken, Cody Ramsdell, Cooper Kent, Danika Kochmann, Christian Peterson, Adison Peterson, Oden Peterson; siblings: Clarence Kochmann of Detroit Lakes, MN, Delores Ahmann of Mahnomen, and Rose Marie (Kenneth) Price of Stephen, MN; siter-in-law, Marjorie (Clayton) Gaulrapp of Redfield, SD, along with many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

Funeral Services will be held at St. Michael's Catholic Church at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. A visitation will be held at St. Michael's Church on Monday, January 6, 2014, from 4-6 p.m. with a prayer service beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Knights of Columbus Rosary. Burial will be at the St. Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to be made to Hospice of the Red River Valley and the Mahnomen Historical Society. Condolences may be left on Jerome Kochmann's online guest book at www.andersonfamilyfh.com.

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