Gerald “Jerry” Vogel

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Gerald Max “Jerry” Vogel, 69, Lawrence, KS, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 18, 2012, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence.  Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, KS.  Jerry died on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Gerald was born on May 5, 1943 in Lawrence, KS, the son of John H. and Irene Schaake Vogel.  His father, a state legislator, received the Lawrence Citizen of the Years Award.  His mother loved being a homemaker.  Jerry grew up in Grant Township on a farm that once belonged to the first governor of Kansas, Charles Robinson, now a Century Farm.  The farm was also the home of the Dahlberg family in “The Day After.”  His mother said he “loved everything about the farm and the great outdoors.”  He exhibited livestock at the American Royal.  His sister, Nancy, was a distinguished scholar and professor at Fort Hays State.

He managed the lifelong challenge of the effects of polio.  He was assisted by a wheelchair since the age of nine.  When he attended Central Junior High School, fellow students carried him up the stairs to classes.  He was a graduate of Lawrence High School, and he attended the University of Kansas.  At LHS, he lettered as a manager of the football team.  He followed sports, especially the Kansas Jayhawks.

He worked as a computer lab instructor at Independence, Inc., and technology was his friend.  Jerry made use of voice-assisted technology.  Until recently he volunteered at Independence, Inc. where he had completed several business courses in computers.

He belonged to the Trinity Lutheran Church where he scheduled lectors.  As a member of Lawrence Amateur Radio Club, his call letters were WAØOWH, and he enjoyed taking part in Field Days.  Gene Burnett helped Jerry master the code part to pass his amateur radio license examination.

When KU students were housemates, he enjoyed a fraternity-like life.  He liked playing cards, going to the theatre and musical performances, family gatherings, pies made with homgrown cherries, class reunions, dancing at weddings, chocolate ice cream, and kind words.  Full of patience, Jerry enjoyed listening and being a group member.

Survivors include his sister, Nancy Vogel, Lawrence; an aunt, Leona Vogel Tannahill, Lee’s Summit, MO; an aunt and uncle, Edwin and Ruth Vogel, Topeka, many cousins, a multitude of friends, a close network of caregivers.  His first cousins are Janet Heck Kittlaus, Kelvin Heck, Virginia Vogel Wallace, Jim Vogel, Robert Vogel, Stanley Vogel, Karen Vogel Rankin, Pat Vogel Lertora, Peggy Hetrick, Doug Vogel, Alan Veeh, Carol Evans Dohm, Randy Evans, Larry Tannahill, Don Tannahill, Dale Tannahill, Steve Vogel, Jane Vogel McNeive, and Warren Vogel.

Jerry loved widely and remains an inspiration to many.

The family will greet friends on Sunday from 4 – 5:30 p.m. at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. 

Memorials may be made in his name to the Charity of Donor’s Choice.  Suggestions include: Trinity Lutheran Church or Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care and may be sent in care of the mortuary.


20 Condolences

  1. Virginia Vogel Wallace on June 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    What a true picture of Jerry the obituary paints. I always felt better after visiting with Jerry, always went home with a good story or a new slant on current topics. We will all miss him – his wit, his kindness.

    Cousin Gingy Ann

  2. Molly Mulloy and Sue Gilkeson on June 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Jerry was blessed to have his wonderful sister Nancy looking after him all these years. He was a talented and kind person who made a positive impact on everyone with whom he came in contact. Sending our prayers and best wishes to Nancy in the sad days ahead. Love Molly and Sue

  3. Terry Thompson on June 15, 2012 at 7:02 am

    I’m saddened to hear of Jerry’s passing. What a truly great guy! I worked with him throughout the 90’s in the Computer Learning Center at Independence, Inc. and I honestly don’t recall him ever having a bad day. I see that his so-called “Giant Disability Resource Page” is still up at I often asked him whether he thought this was still needed in the age of Google, but he remained committed to it, feeling that it was important for a list of disability resources to be hand-picked and personally annotated, for that personal touch. Thanks Jerry for all you taught me!

  4. Alison Carter on June 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Nancy, My thoughts are with you during this very sad time. Thank you for sharing Jerry’s inspirational story. Peace and strength to you and your family during this difficult time.

  5. Robert Reddig on June 15, 2012 at 7:52 am

    I only was able to stay with Jerry for one summer, but I’ll always be proud to be one of Jerry’s kids. He was always so happy and full of life. I know he’s now running with God, having a great time using his arms and legs.

  6. Erin Hetrick-Hohenner on June 15, 2012 at 10:59 am

    He will be missed and remembered with love. Nancy, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Erin (and Andy)

  7. Joan (Isle-Burnett) Benson on June 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Jerry was a light to all of us whose lives he touched. Even as I greeted him last summer at Gene Burnett’s homegoing celebration, Jerry remembered me and greeted me with his joyful smile. We will all miss the beauty of God’s love that he shared with the world, but I am glad to know we dance in Heaven someday … and he will have a perfectly formed “new body” to enjoy for eternity!

    God bless you all,
    Joan Benson

  8. Sharon Stalcup Mendlick on June 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    The Stalcup Family celebrated Jerry in life. Max and Lucile will be glad you are joining them.
    Your help with our Class of 1962 reunions has been a blessing. You, Jerry, are a blessing!

  9. Bob Mikesic on June 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    We’ll miss Jerry at Independence, Inc. where he contributed in so many ways in the Computer Learning Center for 28 years. Jerry had a truly kind heart, enjoyable sense of humor,and I liked discussing the Jayhawks since Jerry knew everything about them.

  10. Patti Bowlin on June 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Dear Nancy: I was so sad to see Jerry’s announcement in the paper today. We all have fond memories of Jerry. Diane was saying that they were just talking about him the other day. I will always remember his wonderful smile and sense of humor. Sincerely, Patti Bowlin
    If you find time, give me a call someday. 913-951-6859

  11. donald l smith jr on June 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Dear Nancy: Im so sadden to hear about Jerrys passing. I have so many great memories of Jerry, you, and your Mom and Dad when I was working for them. I learned so much from them as a kid. May peace and strength be with you during this sadden time.

  12. Todd Wallace on June 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Nancy, we’re so sorry to learn of Jerry’s passing! Thinking of you!

    Todd, Kim, Elizabeth & Andrew Wallace

  13. Jean Palmateer on June 18, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. I too have lost a brother. Thinking of you at this time.
    Jean Palmateer

  14. Dot Nary on June 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

    So sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. We met through our mutual connection with Independence, Inc. Jerry was an excellent example of living well in the context of a disability. He did not let his physical limitations change his nature of kindness, generosity, and joy of living. Thank you, Jerry, for your legacy of a life well lived, and triumph over barriers. We all learned important lessons from you!

  15. Genea Wilson on June 18, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I find so few words to express my sympathy so asking the universe to give you the strength and peace to get through this most sad time.
    Om shanti shanti shanti, genea

  16. Jason Dohm on June 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    How many years has Jerry been the hub for receiving and distributing Vogel news? I don’t know the exact answer, but everyone in the Vogel family knows it is a big number. Because of Jerry family news frequently made it all the way to the NC branch of the family. I know many will miss getting the family news from this cheerful man.

  17. Zee Allison Button on June 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    We will miss you Jerry, at all our LHS Class of 1962 reunions and gatherings! Your smiling face was always there at our meetings. All your help with our website and posting of our pictures will always be remembered by all of us and we are so grateful to have had your help and friendship! You are a hero to our class, Jerry!

  18. Paul Jefferson on June 19, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I had fond memories of Jerry at the Computer Learning center. He always had something to add in the Computer Learning center meetings. He was always cheerful and helpful.

  19. Anne Wallace on June 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I am in the next rank of cousins, more than ten years younger than Jerry. He taught me many lessons without speaking of his life, lessons I was unaware of until I was grown. His smiles and good humor with a little girl made a great difference, and in later years I was grateful for his news of the family. Sweet dreams, Jerry.

  20. Jerri (Hodges) Barr on June 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I was so blessed to know Jerry for the school year that I spent attending Bible Studies at his home. I believe God put Jerry in my life because he showed how to live a joyful life with chronic illness. Thank you to his family for allowing us to be blessed by Jerry!

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