November 16, 2018

Gerald Norman “Jerry” McAuliffe

Gerald Norman “Jerry” McAuliffe, age 87, of Lincoln, Nebraska, passed away November 12, 2018 after a short illness. He was born September 18, 1931 to Robert S. and Norma (Hess) McAuliffe of Omaha, Nebraska.

Jerry grew up in Omaha, graduating from Omaha North High School. After a short time at Omaha University (now UNO) he joined the Air Force, serving for nearly three years during the Korean War.  He was stationed at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas as a dental technician.  After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Jerry returned to Omaha University where he earned an engineering degree.

Jerry married Nola Jean Cockrell June 10, 1956. They had two children together, Patricia Jean and Robert Edward.  Nola passed away in 2001.  A few years later, Jerry found a special friend in Laura “Terri” Beliford and they committed to each other April 1, 2003.  Terri passed away in 2012.

During his teens and twenties Jerry held a variety of jobs including: mowing lawns, shoveling snow, setting bowling pins, bussing tables, working at a service station and carrying mail.  After graduating from Omaha University, he earned a Professional Engineering license and worked as an engineer for Omaha Public Power District (Omaha), Elgin Watch (Lincoln), Lyle Corporation (Clarinda, Iowa) and Cushman/Outboard Marine Corporation (Lincoln), where he worked for the majority of his career (30 years).  He retired in 1992.

Jerry enjoyed traveling and traveled extensively with Nola, Terri, his family, and on his own. He visited every state in the U.S. except those in New England, including Alaska and Hawaii.  He also journeyed to Canada and Mexico and took cruises to several Caribbean islands.

In addition to traveling, Jerry enjoyed golfing, fishing, photography, fixing things, skiing, hiking, hunting and woodworking. He made many treasures from wood for his family and friends, including making intricate jewelry boxes for nearly all of his female relatives and a few friends.  He finished the last jewelry boxes for his great-granddaughters a few months before his death.

An avid Nebraska football and volleyball fan, Jerry rarely missing a televised game. He enjoyed participating in sports as well, playing baseball and golf in high school and volleyball and basketball in an “old men’s” league when he got older.  He took up skiing when he was 50 and his daughter moved to Colorado, even joining the Lincoln Ski Club.  He also coached Little League baseball when his son Bob played and attended many sports events and concerts his children and grandchildren participated in.

Jerry was proud of the fact that he was able to attend all of his grandchildrens’ graduations and weddings. He was especially excited about attending his grandson Robb’s graduation from the Air Force Academy in 2001, being an Air Force veteran himself.  Although his eight great-grandchildren are scattered from Alaska to Wisconsin, he was able to meet all but one of them before he died.  He also took great interest in his “adopted” grandchildren who lived next door to him.

Jerry never met a person he couldn’t talk to. He was friends with the therapists at  physical therapy, the servers at the coffee place he frequented when he walked at Gateway, and everywhere in between.  He was also computer-literate and had a Facebook page to keep track of all of his friends and grandchildren (his children don’t do Facebook, which exasperated him).  He will be missed by many.

Jerry is survived by his daughter Patricia (Brian) Walls of Loveland, Colorado, son Robert (peggy) of Loveland, Colorado; five grandchildren: Robb (Jenn) Fiechtner, Carmia (Dan) Woolley, Greg (Maggie) Walls, Amanda (Noah) Cypher, and Heather Walls; eight great-grandchildren; sister Norma (Clark) Morrow of Omaha, several cousins, nieces, nephews, and many special friends.  He was preceded in death by his wife Nola, special friend Terri Beliford, his parents, and brother Robert C. McAuliffe.

Services will be held Saturday, December 1, 2018, 10:00 a.m., at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 1015 Lancaster Lane, Lincoln, Nebraska.  A luncheon at the Church and burial at Wyuka Cemetary will follow.  Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association or the American Heart Association.

1 Comment

  1. Patty and Family

    I’m so very sorry for your loss of your father. Treasure the valuable memories you have with your dad which will keep him alive as you continue into the future. My deepest sympathy to you all.

    Rodene and Larry


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