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Jerry G. Winslow, age 101, of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania passed away at his home on Saturday evening, March 9, 2019.
Jerry was born on October 12, 1917 in New York City, just minutes before his twin sister, Jane. Fifteen years later, his sister Peggy was born. He lived in “Hell’s Kitchen”, working as a newsy after school. His parents, Wirt and Mae, later moved to Chicago, Illinois where they lived in the Marshal Field apartments and worked for the Drake Hotel.
He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and was sent to Fort Kamehameha on Oahu with the 41st Coastal Artillery, Company D. On December 7, 1941, Jerry was up early to attend Mass and then to the mess hall for his favorite breakfast of pancakes. As he walked back to the barracks, he spotted a strangely low flying airplane and began to wave until he saw the face of the pilot and the Japanese flag on the wing. Realizing what was at hand, he started yelling out warnings to his fellow soldiers, who were completely unprepared for an attack. They were not at war! Their weapons, uniforms, backpacks and barracks were only inspection ready. In disbelief, the other soldiers, still in their beds, started to hurl helmets towards Jerry until a barrage of bullets hit the roof of the barracks. They flew into action, grabbing their strewn helmets and running to retrieve their locked up rifles. Quickly learning that the highly polished bayonets caused them to be easy targets, they placed muddied socks over them. Jerry saw many of his friends fall victim to the enemy fire. He and the others in Company D ended “the day that will live in infamy” putting up barbed wire along the beach preparing for what they feared would be the next wave of attacks. This was truly an introduction to “Hell on Earth”.
Jerry survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, but there was a long, tough road ahead as he served throughout the Pacific. With the rank of Corporal, he was sent to Officers Training School where he was assigned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Jerry spent much of the rest of the war stationed in the Philippines where he contracted Malaria. He was treated for the illness and soon learned that he was going to be deployed to Japan. When he and his men heard the radio report of the first bomb being dropped on Japan, they were in a state of disbelief, but the report of the second bomb gave Jerry an overwhelming feeling that he would live. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war in December 1945.
After the war, Jerry returned home to Chicago, but found it difficult to find his purpose in the world. Then on a New Year’s Eve he met Lorraine Bosnak and found his purpose. They made their home in Harvey, Illinois and raised four daughters. Along with other veterans, Jerry found a job with Sinclair Oil Research Company as a chemist. There he became best friends with a fellow chemist who was a Japanese American man. After 19 years, Sinclair merged with Atlantic Richfield and laid off the veterans without full pensions. Jerry went to work for CertainTeed and moved to Downingtown, Pennsylvania. It was there that he invented a fiber called Fibrous Calcium Sulfate, which was used as a substitute for asbestos in many products.
Jerry retired and moved to Kennett Square with his “Sweet Lorraine”, as he always called her. They were married for 62 years until she passed away. He missed her every day, but enjoyed spending time with his four daughters, eight grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. He also found enjoyment in watching his backyard birds, watching old movies, listening to Mitch Miller music and old sentimental Irish songs. He never tired of his favorite food, Oreo cookies. His family never grew tired of listening to him recite classic poetry, which he gladly did upon request or for no particular reason at all except that he could! Jerry was known to be witty, charming, nurturing and loving. He was the great comforter in chief and the best father any child could ask for. He had a deep love for God, family and country. He is loved and will be missed.
Jerry was the beloved husband of the late Lorraine Bosnak Winslow for 62 years until her death in 2010. He is survived by his four daughters: Wendy Winslow of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, Susan Casavant and her husband Joseph of Kennett Square, Cynthia Godbout and her husband Archille of Ballston Lake, New York and Kerry Menas and her husband Gust Charles of Downington, Pennsylvania; grandfather of Brian (Allison), Joshua (Christina), Brandon (Luciene), Jenny (Christopher), Justin, Heather, Danielle (Barry) and Jaclyn. Also survived by twelve adored great-grandchildren: Liam, Ashley, Aidan, Luke, Mackenzie, Gavin, Cecilia, Elijah, Lucy, Byron, Leonardo and Violet. Jerry was predeceased by his twin sister, Jane Russell and sister, Peggy Cohen.
A viewing will be from 6:00PM until 8:00PM on Friday, March 15, 2019 and on Saturday morning, March 16, 2019 from 9:00AM until 10:00AM at the LONGWOOD FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION of MATTHEW GENEREUX, 913 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square. A Funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30AM on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 212 Meredith Street, Kennett Square.
Burial with U.S. Army military honors will follow the Funeral Mass in St. Patrick Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers and many acts of kindness, memorial donations may made in Jerry's name to Neighborhood Hospice, 795 East Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19382.
Family flowers arranged by LeStyle 25 of Unionville, 610-925-1901.