Jerry Stewart Lausmann went to be with the Lord on Jan. 6, 2012.
He was born March 3, 1930, in Portland, the son of Anton and Grace Lausmann.
Jerry attended school in Portland until he was in the sixth grade. He then moved to Medford and attended Jackson Elementary and McLoughlin Junior High, and graduated from Medford High School.
After high school, Jerry went into the U.S. Navy for three years, where he was an aircraft mechanic. He attended Oregon State University and St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn.
While in Winona, Jerry met his beloved wife, Donnis, and they were married in 1965. They returned to Medford and Jerry took an active part in his father’s veneer and sawmill business, KOGAP Enterprises, Inc. At this time, he invented the Smokeless Burner, for which he holds three patents in Canada, Japan and the United States. As logging diminished, KOGAP diversified into many different entities to keep his employees working: Stewart Meadows Golf Course, Stewart Meadows Driving Range, Tee Time Cafe, KOGAP Excavation, KOGAP Electrical and KOGAP Landscape. They also purchased several shopping centers and business properties in different cities in Oregon and Washington.
Jerry was very active in the community, ran for mayor of Medford in 1986 and was mayor for six consecutive terms, the longest serving mayor in Medford history. He re-established the prayer at the City Council meetings and also founded the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission.
In 1999, Jerry was chosen by the Medford Chamber of Commerce as the “Citizen of the Year,” and he was honored to receive various other awards throughout his life. Jerry ran for Congress on the Republican ticket but was unsuccessful in that venture. Jerry and his father were avid Republicans and loved politics.
Jerry’s love for his community kept him active in many diversified organizations; he was co-founder of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI). He was active with the youth of Medford and partnered with Washington School, helping them build a school playground. KOGAP annually provides Christmas trees for the classrooms at the school. The children would come at Christmas time, decorate the tree at the KOGAP office and sing for Jerry, Donnis and the employees. Donnis always had a Christmas story for them and cookies. Jerry also took part in the SMART program and read at the school every week for several years.
Jerry was on the Foundation Board of Southern Oregon University for many years and also The Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts. He was international director for the Full Gospel Business Men. He was a founding member of the local chapter of the pilot’s association, Quiet Birdmen. He was an instrument-rated pilot and enjoyed flying his own plane. He and Donnis were active in the Medford Rogue Rotary, and received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He was an avid ham radio operator for many years and also a member of the National Watch and Clock Maker Association, as well as a certified gem faceter. He was fond of, and was actively involved in the Medford-Alba, Italy, sister- city program and youth exchange. He enjoyed driving and working on his sports cars. He had a love of the Oregon coast, and he and Donnis enjoyed their getaways to their own home in Brookings.
Jerry was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Elks Lodge, Masons, Royal Arch, Medford A.F. & A.M., Malta Commandery Knights Templar, Shriners International and Hillah Temple life member.
Jerry’s great love for music was lifelong and he was a member of the Musicians Association. He played the bass with his father, Anton Lausmann, in the band “Lausmann’s Lousy Loggers” for many years. He was a founding member of the Medford Jazz Jubilee, which he attended every year.
Jerry and Donnis are very pariotic and had a project devoted to honoring our service men and women when they returned from the Gulf War, receiving an award from the Department of Defense.
Jerry’s sense of humor was known throughout our valley. You never met Jerry when he didn’t tell a joke. He was a great man and he will be missed greatly.
Jerry is survived by Donnis, his beloved wife of 46 years; his children prior to his marriage to Donnis: Ann (Edward) Istel of Medford, Tony Lausmann of Salem, Craig Lausmann of Medford, and Sharon Lausmann of Medford; grandsons Christian Istel of Tokyo, Japan, Michael (Sara) Lausmann of Eugene, and Ryan Lausmann of Medford; great-grandson Elliott Lausmann, of Eugene.
Jerry was preceded in death by his father Anton Lausmann; his mother Grace Lausmann; and his sister Carol Kennedy.
A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2000 Oakwood St., in Medford. There will be a viewing from 9 to 10 a.m. A reception lunch will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hillcrest Committee for the American Cancer Society Research, 31 West 6th St., Medford, OR 97501; The Salvation Army, 304 Beatty St., Medford, OR 97501; RV Smart Readers, 670 Superior Court Suite No. 108, Medford, OR 97504; Medford/Alba Youth Exchange Program, 244 Grape St., Medford, OR 97501; or Medford Jazz Jubilee, PMB 221, Central Ave. Medford, OR 97501, Kids’ Unlimited, 821 North Riverside Ave., Medford OR 97501.
Arrangements by Perl Funeral Home.
Perl Funeral Home.