John J. “Jerry” Carroll, age 88, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 in Baraboo, WI. Often referring to himself as “just a simple country boy”, he was born January 29, 1929 in Ironton, WI to Patrick Kenneth (Chuck) Carroll and Icel Lucille (Smith) Carroll. The oldest of nine children, he grew up in the Cazenovia area on the family farm, graduating from Reedsburg High School in 1947 and then from Sauk County Normal School two years later, where he met his wife Bonnie (Fawcett). They married June 9, 1951 in Reedsburg and moved to Baraboo in 1954 where they raised seven children. Over the years he worked first as a teacher, then a furniture salesman at Ploetz Furniture and served in the Army National Guard for 41 years, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant and also served as a First Sergeant.
He was a proud Irishman who loved to say, “It’s better to be lucky than smart.” He was both lucky and smart, as he excelled in school and bypassed the 8th grade, a fact he didn’t share readily but of which he was secretly proud.
Jerry was the person who knew someone everywhere he went – from the Alpine Café ordering a “Jerry Burger” (a hamburger deluxe with grilled onions) to the lobby of the Empire State Building in New York City.
Jerry loved to sit down with family and friends and tell you about how to negotiate the best deal, talk about current events, tell jokes and stories, play cards (as long as there was an “honest deal”) and watch the evening news with his bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. He was passionate about family and family history, had a deep Catholic faith, appreciation of the outdoors and a love of the land. He was known for his sweet tooth, particularly for chocolate, licorice, black jelly beans and the peanut butter cups he would sneak from the baking supplies. He enjoyed reading, deer hunting, walking, dancing, Korbel brandy, history, antiques, travel, the Packers and especially music. He played in his family’s dance band, Chuck Carroll and his Orchestra, with his father and brothers in the 1940s and ‘50s. He passed along his love and appreciation for music to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie, his parents and four siblings: Philip “Roscoe” Carroll, Jane “Tug” Hilsenhoff, Mike Carroll and Bill Carroll. He is survived by seven children: John J. “Jack” (Karole) Carroll, Jr., of Baraboo, WI; Monica (Ken “Bernie” Kvam) Carroll, of Prairie du Sac, WI; David (Joy) Carroll of Rock Springs, WI; Rebecca Carroll (Steve Noveck) of New York, NY; Betsy (Tracy) Watkins of Mascoutah, IL; Beth (Peter) Goethel of Baraboo, WI; and Gerri (Clint) Biodrowski of Cross Plains, WI; 15 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; siblings Patrick (Mary) Carroll of Platteville, WI; Mary Catherine Prantner of Santee, CA; Nancy “Dolly” Bartos of Orland Park, IL and Eileen “Pinky” Schutz of Loganville, WI; many nieces, nephews and friends; his morning coffee group and his special friend of the last 13 years Amy Monson of Shell Lake, WI whom he met at their 57th high school reunion in 2004. Together he and Amy enjoyed travelling and spending part of the winter in Arizona.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, March 1st, at 10 AM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Baraboo, with Father Jay Poster officiating. Interment will be at St. Mary’s of the Pines Cemetery, formerly Durward’s Glen Cemetery where military rites will be conducted. Friends may call on Tuesday, Feb. 28th at the Redlin Funeral Home in Baraboo from 4-8 PM, and on Wednesday morning, March 1st at 9:30 AM at St. Joseph’s. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Legion Post 26, the Alzheimer’s Association of South Central Wisconsin: www.alz.org/scwisc,or to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Krszjzaniek and to all those who cared for Jerry.
“Here’s to us good guys.” “Nice you got to see me!”