Jerold “Jerry” Wright, 81, of Trivoli, passed away April 17, 2021 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, Peoria. His private graveside service will be at Penn Ridge Cemetery, Trivoli. Marc Boon, Jerry’s son-in-law, will officiate. Memorials may be made to Illinois State University Foundation. Anderson-Sedgwick Funeral Home, Farmington, is in charge of arrangements.
Jerry was born November 20, 1939, in Canton, IL, the son of Jarvis and Mary Wright, who preceded him in death. He married Norma Carson on August 5, 1961, in Decatur, IL. She survives. Jerry is also survived by three children: Doug (Jean) Wright, Trivoli; CJ (Marc) Wright-Boon, Danvers; and Jane (Tim) Goeken, Delavan. There are 7 grandchildren: George (Lana) Wright, Baton Rouge, LA; Hannah (Jack) Horky, Kansas City, KS; Zach Goeken, Delavan; Zach Kingston, Danvers; Alli Goeken, Delavan; Sarah Kingston, Danvers; and Matt Behrends, Delavan. There is 1 great granddaughter, Olivia, who brought great joy and happiness during this last year. Also surviving is his half-sister, Barb Garrott.
Jerry graduated from Farmington High School and started at the University of Illinois but ultimately transferred to Illinois State Normal University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. While at ISNU, he served as Vice President of the Industrial Arts Club, participated in the ISNU Jazz Band and Gamma Phi Circus, and was elected as President of Iota Lambda Sigma. He was also selected as one of 16 Outstanding Seniors. He taught high school in Midlothian, then came back to the Peoria area to first work as a director at a Boy Scout camp (he was an Eagle Scout) and then to obtain his Master’s Degree from Bradley University. While at Bradley, he was elected to both Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Kappa. He joined Caterpillar in 1965 and worked there for 35 years in a variety of managerial capacities, most of which focused on Training and Development, including overseeing the development of the ThinkBig Technician Training Program, a collaborative program between Caterpillar and ICC.
Jerry was active in promoting education. He served as a member of the Balance of State Private Industry Council for the Governor’s Office of Commerce and Community Affairs. He was a vice president and member of the Board of Directors for the Tri-County Industrial Education and Labor Council in Peoria and has served on several state committees related to the Education for Employment efforts in Illinois. He also served as a member of the U. S. Department of State’s Overseas Schools Advisory Committee. He has been a member of the American Foundry Society, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the American Society of Training and Development. He was elected as a Trustee to Illinois Central College in Peoria and served on the Board for 18 years and as Chairman three times. He was elected to the ISU Alumni Board and served a variety of roles during his time on the Board. In 2011, he was inducted into ISU’s College of Applied Science and Technology Hall of Fame.
While he was a rather accomplished career man, Jerry was most proud of his family. They wish to thank the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home staff for their care and compassion during his last days.