Jerry (Jeremiah) Rials

Private Funeral Services for the Immediate Family of Jerry (Jeremiah) Rials, 63, Topeka, KS will be held at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. There will be a link available to watch the services at Burial with Military Honors will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. Jerry will lie-in-state for public visitation on Thursday, September 17, 2020 from 3-7 p.m. at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Please be mindful of social distancing and masks are required.

Jerry was born on May 7, 1957 in Darlove, Mississippi.

Jerry passed away, Thursday, September 10, 2020 at the Colmery-O’Neil Veteran’s Medical Center in Topeka after a brief illness.

He served his country in the United States Army from August 1976 to December 1979.

Jerry held various employments including work as a Truck Driver, a Wells Fargo Armored Car Driver, Security Guard, and most recently retired in 2019 as a Chef for the University of Kansas.

What Jerry valued the most was his calling to spread the love of Christ as a Minister. He was a man of great faith and held great passion for the Gospel.

He married Vanessa Pennington on May 23, 1992 in Lawrence, KS. She survives of the home.

Other survivors include two sons, Deeon Thompson and Jeremiah Jr., and four grandchildren. His mother, Mary Rials, and his siblings, Johnnie Mae Rials, Loretta Rials, AB Rials, Jr., Lea Bruce, Linnell Rials (Sheila), Leslie Rials, Julitha Rials, Rita Rials, Clark Rials, Sr. (Tonya), and Nicole Rials. Jerry’s memory will also be cherished by a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws, extended family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his birth mother, Rowena Felton Rials (deceased on May 8th, 1957), his father, AB Rials, Sr., brother, Michael Wayne Rials, and sister, Louise Rials.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044. Because Jerry loved to cook and feed people, food donations may be made in his name to Harvesters of Topeka or Just Food of Lawrence.

32 Condolences

  1. Christy Canon on September 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Vanessa, so sorry to hear about the loss of Jerry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Andrew (Earlene) Galloway on September 14, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Cherish your memories. You will see him again. He’s is just sleeping.
    God’s grace will see you through this.

  3. Patty Pliler on September 14, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    My deepest heart felt condolences to the family and friends at this difficult time. I have great memories of having the privilege of working with Jerry a few years at KU dinning services. He will be missed greatly by many. ❤️????

  4. Gregory and Maria Galloway on September 14, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    To the family please accept our condolences . . . know God will provide comfort and guidance during and after time of bereavement.

  5. Pam Brown on September 14, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    My sympathy to All the Rials family. May your faith and family love bring you comfort and may you be blessed with many wonderful memories. Love, Pam & Sean Brown

  6. Delorise Omon on September 14, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    So sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. Aunt Mary may God wrap his Arms of peace and strength around you at this most difficult time. Jerry RIP.

  7. reuben turner on September 14, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    my condolences to the family.

  8. Michael M Johnson on September 15, 2020 at 12:22 am

    I send my sympathy to all the rials family and relatives. I have fond memories of Jerry wen I was part of the family by marriage to his sister at one time. He was a smart and good kid havent seen him in yrs. May god be with u during this difficult time.

  9. Walter Scott on September 15, 2020 at 1:10 am

    R. I. P my friend, it’s been a while since we talked and once again this reinterate that tomorrow is not promised …. Love you and your family ???????? Walter Scott and Family

  10. Becky Mondi on September 15, 2020 at 8:43 am

    My deepest sympathy to all of your family.
    May God’s great comfort & peace envelop you throughout the difficult days forward.
    Much love to you all.

  11. LaVonne Marks on September 15, 2020 at 11:01 am

    My deepest sympathies to Jerry’s family. May you feel God’s loving arms around you during this difficult time, and comfort in your wonderful memories to sustain you while you grieve.

  12. Sara J Eells on September 15, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Deepest Sympathies for Vanessa and all the Rials family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  13. Dr. Gloria J. Savage-Early on September 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Loretta Rials and other family members and friends,
    It is with heartfelt sadness that I speak to God on behalf of your tender hearts. May you look to the Lord for your strength. May your memories of Jerry and his presence with the Lord sustain you during this difficult time. Sending you love and prayers from Virginia.

  14. Linda Ellison on September 15, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    I had the honor of knowing Jerry for 12 1/2 years at KU. He was always a kind soul and good person. Always had a smile or his smirky smile on his face. Heaven truly gained an angel the day he passed away. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIP Jerry fly high my friend.

  15. Barbara Harris on September 15, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Sending my condolences to the riles family so sorry for the loss of Jerry he was a good man I remember going to school with Jerry and he did always just smile

  16. Leo and Glenda Souders on September 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    Mom and Family,

    I wanted to send our deepest sympathy to you and the entire family. We know Jerry was a Fantastic Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, Brother, Uncle and In-Law. He was a man of Great Faith and supportive friend too many.

    Jerry, as well as his siblings were raised with great morals and values, as well as an entrenched work ethic instilled by two hard working and loving parents, AB and Mary.

    May GOD bless each of you in the coming days, weeks and months. May HE replace the sorrow in your hearts with everlasting memories.

    May we also say a PRAYER and REMEMBER Dad, AB Rials, Sr, Mother, Rowena Felton Rials, as well brother and sister, Michael and Louise Rials, who were there on the other side to welcome our Jerry HOME.

  17. Lanell Finneran on September 16, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Sending you and your family healing prayers. Your brother sounded like a remarkable man. Peace to you and your family.

  18. Pastor Ricky & Lady J Callaway on September 16, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Pastor Ricky &Lady J Callaway Vanessa,Aunt Mary &Family. Our list, but heaven gain. Our prayers are with ya’ll, during this difficult time.God does not make mistakes.Phil.4:8 Think on the good.Be strong & courageous Jos.1:9 Much LOVE

  19. Aunt Queen on September 17, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    To Vanessa and the entire Rials family. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you all at this time of sadness. To know Jerry was to love him. He was such a pleasure to be around. I will keep you in my prayers as he Rest In Peace in the mighty arms of Jesus our Lord.

  20. Laura Sellers on September 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Rials Family, I am so sorry for your loss, I had the privilege of working with Jerry here at KU he was a hard worker and very pleasant to work with.
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time.
    Take Care, Be Safe,

  21. Linda Folsom Tolbert on September 17, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    To the Rials Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of sorrow.

  22. Doris Bell on September 18, 2020 at 6:58 am

    To Venessa, Rials Family,
    Sending you love, Standing in prayer with and for you, prayer for the coming day’s ahead, may your precious memories live forever
    Doris and the kids…

  23. Marshall Ruffner on September 18, 2020 at 8:15 am

    My sincere condolences to the Rials family! May GOD bless each of you in the coming days, weeks and months. May HE replace your sorrow with everlasting memories

  24. Nancy Guest on September 18, 2020 at 9:43 am

    My DEAR RIALS FAMILY, May the PEACE of GOD surround and COMFORT you in the hours and days ahead. Our families grew up together and I have PRECIOUS MEMORIES of our childhood days in North Lawrence. My heart is heavy for you ALL but Gods Words says God will wipe every tear away. HOLD ON TO THE PRECIOUS MEMORIES of Jerry, NO ONE CAN TAKE THOSE FROM YOU. KNOW I’M STANDING IN THE GAP FOR YOU ALL. I LOVE YOU AND KEEP THE FAITH FAMILY. NANCY SCOTT GUEST

  25. Doris Green on September 18, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Love y’all and praying for our Cuzin’s!! Mary and family
    Mississippi sends love????????????

  26. Virginia Felton Jennings on September 18, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Goodmorning to my family. I am sending my LOVE And PRAYERS to my family during this difficult time.I will continue to PRAY for strength for my entire family.
    Much love from MISSISSIPPI. JENNY AND FAMILY ♡♡♡♡

  27. Wynetta Oyeleye on September 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    My condolences to Vanessa and the Rials family. May God wrap his merciful hands around the entire family and the strength to endure during these difficult times.

  28. Greg & Gayle (Hornberger) Daniels on September 18, 2020 at 6:57 pm

    So sorry to hear of this loss to your beautiful loving family, Linn I appreciate our time working with you at KU. I remember you introducing me to Jerry and your mom at the West coast saloon. Gayle went to school with some of your family before I ever met her, small loving world sending you hugs

  29. Haley Rowe on September 22, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    I had the privilege of working briefly with Jerry at KU Dining. I only knew him to be warm and helpful to those around him, even if sometimes he liked to poke a little fun at you. On occasion we would have more serious conversations, dealing with themes of justice and fairness. His deep grasp of the word integrity is something I won’t forget. My sincerest condolences to those that knew and loved him the most.

  30. Karan Baucom on September 23, 2020 at 9:19 am

    I was so sorry to hear this. I hope you can take peace and comfort in your memories and those around you. God bless. Karan Baucom

  31. Shirley Fizer on September 24, 2020 at 11:25 am

    1Thessalonians 4:13 – 18 . Always enjoyed our fellowship in Christ while at work (E’s Dining Hall). He also kept me in stitches.

  32. Geraldine Peaks-Wade on March 1, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your love one. Sending condolences to the Rials family.

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