Jerome ‘Jerry’ Schwarzmeier
April 6, 1943 — Aug. 28, 2016
Jerome “Jerry” Schwarzmeier, 73, of Wales, passed into eternity on Sunday, August 28, 2016.
Jerry was born in Melrose, Minn., on April 6, 1943. The eldest of 11 children, Jerry grew up with a passion for exploring the undeveloped lands around the family home, learning about the plants and animals and hunting with his brothers.
He graduated from Waukesha South in 1961, then attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he earned his degree in botany. He later attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying botany.
Jerry accepted the position of Waukesha County Naturalist in 1973, and as part of that postion was also in charge of Parks Management and Recreation. He was instrumental in the creation of Minooka Park and pioneered the use of ecological criteria for restoring and preserving natural plant communities in all the county parks. Jerry became a much sought-after expert in prairie restoration around the Midwest. He eventually became the Director of Retzer Nature Center and oversaw its expansion from an old farm house to a modern public facility. After retiring, Jerry continued to do consulting with landowners on ecological land management with his good friend and colleague, Dave Mayer.
Jerry had a deep, abiding faith in and love for the Lord Jesus, and His creation. God indeed planted special seeds of faith in Jerry and trusted him to honor His beautiful landscape. We’re sure that God has many projects for Jerry in heaven.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Rose Marie; his sister Joanne Doak; and his nephew Steve Gibas.
Jerry leaves behind his precious wife, Patricia (Graber); daughter, Amy; and nine siblings, Gene, Jim, John, Janet Feight, Joe, Judy Gibas, Jeff, Joyce Latta and Julie Schiefelbein. He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends who miss him so much already. Our hearts are broken, but are at peace knowing where he will reside forever.
A private burial service will be held at Prairie Home Cemetery on Wednesday, September 7, at 6:00 pm., and a memorial in honor of Jerry will be held in June 2017 at Retzer Nature Center, overlooking Jerry’s prairie lands.
Any donations are appreciated and may be addressed to either Retzer Nature Center or WVCY Christian Radio in Milwaukee.