Obituary: Jerauld Charles Wilgus

Jerauld Charles Wilgus

Jerauld Charles Wilgus

Jerauld Charles Wilgus

1935 - 2023

Jerauld Charles Wilgus passed away on February 2, 2023. He died at home in the loving care of June, his wife of 37 years.

Jerry was born in the hospital in Jerome, Arizona on August 8, 1935. He was the eldest child of Frederick Wheelock Wilgus and Margaret Fairfield. Jerry grew up in Clarkdale and graduated high school in Flagstaff, Arizona. He briefly joined U.S. Merchant Marines before transferring to the U.S. Army. He served in Korea not long after the end of the Korean War.

After serving his country, he lived in Tucson, Arizona, where his parents had moved. There he worked at a Tucson Gas and Electric power plant. When he wasn’t working, he hiked and dabbled in photography.

In 1963, he married Patricia Starkey Fairfield and became the father of Dody Nolan, Jason Fairfield, and John Fairfield. Jerry and Pat had one child, their son Mark Wilgus. The family of six lived near Saguaro High School in Tucson. In 1972, Jerry and Pat moved the family to Clarkdale, Arizona, returning to where both of them had grown up. Jerry and Pat bought the Newsstand neighborhood bar from Pat’s parents, Edwin and Dorothy Starkey. Jerry and Pat divorced amicably in 1977. They continued to co-own the Newstand until 1981. Jerry then worked for the town of Clarkdale as town foreman and then for Cottonwood Waterworks.

Hiking remained a passion of Jerry’s. He and his son Mark took many day hikes on Mingus Mountain and the surrounding region. Jerry collected many fossils, other interesting rocks, purple glass jars, and odd bits of rusting mining equipment.

In 1987, Jerry married June Sobley Bryson and became the father of Kathy and Will Cathcart, Mark and Melissa Bryson, and Jayleen and Steve Kerr. Jerry retired in 1997. After June retired a few years later, they moved to Camp Verde, for a little more solitude. Together they renovated a home and three acres, had chickens, grew amazing tomatoes, and refinished old furniture.

In 2011, Jerry and June moved to Bayfield, Colorado, so that they could live closer to Kathy, Mark, Jayleen, and their families. Jerry is survived by his wife June, seven children, 13 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

Information provided by family.

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