Cover photo for Jerry Smith's Obituary
1949 Jerry 2022

Jerry Smith

January 12, 1949 — May 18, 2022

Jerry L Smith

Avid 4wheel drive enthusiast

Jerry Smith 73, died Wednesday, May 18th, 2022, at the Veteran’s Community Living Center in Grand Junction Colorado.

Jerry was born January 12th, 1949, in Hamilton Montana to Lois and Ray Smith.  At the age of 1 he was relocated and was raised in California by his mother and stepfather Gus Whisnand until the age of 14 when he returned to Montana to his father and stepmother Geraldine. He Graduated from Sentinel High School in Missoula.

After high school, Jerry enlisted in the Navy in 1971, serving aboard the USS Kittyhawk. He served during the Vietnam War, earning a National Defense Medal, a service medal with 2 stars, a Campaign Medal, and a Unit Commendation Ribbon. He was honorably discharged in 1975.

He studied automotive mechanics at Denver Automotive and Diesel College.  Soon after graduating, he became a Journeyman Heavy Equipment Mechanic for Westmont Tractor, and later was employed by Ritchie Brother Auctioneers from 1982-92.

Jerry is survived by daughters; Michelle Oribe and grandson Joshua, Tamarie Smith, and Tina Baker, granddaughter Ahlayna and grandson Nathan. Brother Darryl Whisnand and sisters Linda Jager and Lori Sutherland of California, and brother Dan Smith and sister Joyce Mikesell of Montana.

Jerry was active in many Jeeping organizations and worked with the BLM to open and maintain several trails.  He was an advocate to open access for vehicles on public lands. He held the titles of; Vice President at Colorado Four Wheel Drive Association, Director of Environmental Affairs at United Four-Wheel Drive Association, and was very active with the Grand Mesa Jeep Club.

Services are being handled though the Grand Mesa Jeep Club, information to follow.

Jerry will be remembered for his catch phrase “if you come to a fork in the road…take it”

Happy Trails Jerry

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