Jerome “Jerry” Sibrt, passed away at his home in Manitou Beach, Mich., April 8, 2017, surrounded by his loving wife, Denise, and daughter, Amelia, sister-in-law, Katy, and his three beloved dogs. He was 81 years old.
Jerry was born April 14, 1935, in Chicago, to Dorothy Louise McOmber Sibrt and Joseph Jerome Sibrt. The family moved from Chicago in 1946 to Dowagiac. After graduation from Dowagiac High School, he attended Michigan Technological Institute, where he was a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. After graduating from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in 1957, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army via the ROTC program. In 1959, he joined the Ohio Army National Guard, where he advanced through the ranks from company commander to commander of the 137th MP Battalion in Toledo, Ohio. After 32 years of military service, Jerry retired in 1989 at the distinguished rank of colonel from the Army Reserves.
Jerry was a registered engineer, surveyor, and former vice president of operations for Citizen’s Gas Fuel Company in Adrian, retiring in 1995. He was a gifted corporate executive, patriotic soldier, and community leader.
On Dec. 30, 1978, Jerry married the love of his life, Denise Bagby, with whom he shared nearly 40 wonderful years of marriage, traveling extensively, building a large network of friends, and being devoted parents to their lovely daughter. In 1988, Jerry and Denise built their beautiful home overlooking Devils Lake and their adjacent apple orchard, which Jerry farmed, and from which he supplied customers with apples and cider for many years. Being a true sportsman, he was an avid golfer as well as a noted fisherman and hunter who especially enjoyed fishing locally for bluegill and pheasant hunting with his loyal springer spaniels, who were almost as well-known as he was. For many years, Jerry was a well-liked, well-respected, and familiar face in the Devils Lake Community, and people could almost set their clocks according to his regular routines. He was an active parishioner of St. Mary on the Lake Catholic Church, a member of the Devils Lake Yacht Club, and a former member of the Lenawee Country Club, Addison Gun Club, Devils Lake Men’s Club, Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, and numerous professional organizations. Jerry was also a former president of the Family Awareness Center board of directors and was instrumental in facilitating the agency’s transition to providing sexual abuse treatment through Catholic Charities in Adrian, Mich.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Denise, and three loving children, Amelia Sibrt of Eagle, Colo., Judy (Robert) Spagnoli of Hudson, Fla., and Michael Sibrt of Pittsford, Mich., and his younger brother, Dennis Sibrt (Mary) of The Villages in Florida. He also leaves three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, and of course, his three precious dogs and one cat. Jerry will also be fondly remembered and truly missed by his countless friends who enjoyed his warmth, friendliness, humor, and well-informed opinions.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary on the Lake Catholic Church, Manitou Beach Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 11 a.m. with Fr. Joseph J. Krupp officiating with a visitation prior to the funeral from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Burial will take place in Green’s Lakeside Cemetery, Manitou Beach. There will be a visitation Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. with a scripture service at 7:30 p.m. also at St. Mary on the Lake Catholic Church. Full Military Honors to be performed by Hannan-Colvin Post #180, Hudson American Legion. Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of Lenawee, Catholic Charities of Adrian or to St. Mary on the Lake Catholic Church. Arrangements are entrusted to the Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Addison. Send condolences to the family at www.brownvanhemert.com.