Jergen “Jerry” Wayne Anderson

Jergen “Jerry” Wayne Anderson passed away peacefully with family by his side at Skyline Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation in Billings, Montana on March 4th, 2024.  A beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, great uncle, cousin, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend who will be deeply missed by all.
Jerry was born December 12th, 1941, in Wenatchee, Washington to Einar and Lillian (Johnson) Anderson. His family moved from South Dakota to Washington state in 1937 due to the Great Depression.  They returned to the family farm/ranch at Shadehill, South Dakota in December of 1943 right before Christmas.  What a gift that was for everyone!  Einar and Lillian purchased the family farm from his parents, J.M. and Ella Anderson, where they ranched and added two more children to the family. Being raised on the ranch gave him an excellent work ethic. He enjoyed helping with the farming, haying, and caring for the livestock. He especially loved doing mechanic work and built his own car out of old cars. He shared that love with his brothers and eventually his son. He also loved horses, especially his horse, Silver. His children learned to ride on that horse. Of course, hunting and fishing were ways he could have fun and still help by providing food for the family.
Tragedy struck his family on October 22nd, 1955, when he was in a vehicle accident with his dad and Uncle Arne Anderson. His dad passed away due to the injuries that he sustained. His mother, Lillian, struggled to continue ranching with her young family since Einar’s parents and his brother all passed away in a very short period of time. She married Cecil Milner in August of 1957. Their family was blessed to have Cecil come into their lives as a second father, especially for Jim and Joanne as they were very young.  Jerry and his four siblings were raised on the farm and attended grades 1-8 in one room country schools before going to high school in Lemmon, South Dakota, where he graduated in 1959.
Jerry married Betty Jean Evans in Lemmon on December 4th, 1960.  There they had their four children; Jami, Jess, Joyti and Jonette.  They attended the Calvary Lutheran Church. They were members of the Jaycees and Jayceettes along with their good friends, Gerald and Sheryll Robertson. Betty Jean and Sheryll bowled on a league together. Their daughter, Shelley, was also a very good friend to the Anderson kids. Jerry and Betty Jean were also members of the Lemmon Country Club.  Jerry enjoyed golfing and Jean and the kids enjoyed the swimming pool. He was also a volunteer fireman. Camping and fishing were things he liked to do with his family and extended family. During this time, Jerry’s brother James (Jim) Anderson married Betty Jean’s sister, Maxine Evans, and they also had four children; Sabra, Chet, Taryn, and Brent (Hawkeye).  This created double cousins, which was and still is such a unique and wonderful thing.
While living and working in Lemmon, Jerry participated in many Demolition Derbys. His brothers also shared his interest in that. Jerry worked as an auto body repairman before buying that business and renaming it Jerry’s Body Shop.
In the early 70’s, he relocated his family to Billings and then Shepherd, Montana where Jerry worked as a long-haul truck driver with his brother, Joe, for Bertolino Livestock Trucking. While working there, he helped a co-worker with his racecar and took the family to the stock car races on the weekend. Jess was bitten by the racing bug way back then when he got to mingle with his dad’s friend, Jesse Mota, the driver of the race car at the shop and the racetrack. When Jerry and Betty Jean divorced in November of 1975, he stayed in Montana working for trucking companies as a driver or dispatcher. He moved to the Missoula/Frenchtown area where he worked for Jim Palmer Trucking and then managed SMB Body Shop. Jerry did exceptionally good work and taught his children to always do their best at whatever you do. During these years, his kids lived with him off and on.
Sometime in the early 80’s, Jerry reconnected with his friends, Gerald and Sheryll Robertson. They had also moved to Billings from Lemmon. Unfortunately, Gerald passed away suddenly from a heart attack on October 8th, 1985.
Jerry and Sheryll continued to spend time together and their relationship grew and saved them both.  During this time, Jerry gave his life to the Lord, and on September 13th, 1986, Jerry married the love of his life, Sheryll Swanson Robertson.  With this marriage, Jerry was also blessed with a stepdaughter, Shelley Robertson, whom he loved as his own. While living in Billings, they helped care for Sheryll’s parents, Clarence and Irma Swanson in their later years. They owned and operated Jerry Anderson Trucking while in Billings and continued to operate it from Sheridan, Wyoming when they moved there in 2002. He and Sheryll were able to see much of the United States and enjoyed many adventures and each other’s company along the way.  They took many loads to California to visit Joyti and her family when they lived in the San Diego area. In 2004, they bought a property outside of Sheridan with a very unique earth home where they enjoyed hosting family and friends. They built a home together that knew no stranger, and everyone was always welcome! Jerry thoroughly enjoyed visiting with family and friends around the kitchen table, listening to and telling a good story, sharing a laugh, playing a game of cards, working on a jigsaw or a circle a word puzzle, and a good old-fashioned Tootsie Pop!    He will be remembered as a tinkerer and a duct tape extraordinaire. When he retired, he enjoyed feeding and watching his birds and squirrels. He was very creative in designing and building unique, hand-built homes for them. He loved sharing this passion with anyone who came to visit them in their home. During their 37 years of marriage, they loved attending various family, children's & grandchildren's’ activities, and many church functions.  He retired from trucking due to health issues in June 2016. In August 2018, they moved back to Billings where he resided until his passing.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Sheryll Anderson (Billings, MT); his stepdaughter, Shelley Robertson (Billings, MT); his daughter, Jami Earsley, and her husband, Joe (Anchorage, AK and Barra de Navidad, Mexico); his son, Jess Anderson, and his wife, Connie (Gillette, WY); his daughter, Joyti Lermeny, and her husband, Derek (Reva, SD); his daughter, Jonette Myrick, and her husband, Cal (Eagle River, AK); and their mother Betty Jean Thormahlen (Bridger, MT); his ten grandchildren; his ten great-grandchildren (plus one on the way); his brother, James (Jim) Anderson, and his wife, Lucy (Shadehill, SD), his sister, Joanne Seim, and her husband, Tim (Shadehill, SD); his sister-in-law, Connie Anderson, wife of deceased brother Joe (Billings, MT); his sister-in-law, Marlene Fred, Sheryll’s sister, and her husband, Dale (retired/traveling); his sister-in-law, Ila Swanson, wife of Sheryll’s deceased brother Arlan (Billings, MT); his still special brothers and sisters-in-law from his first marriage; many nieces and nephews; many grand nieces and nephews; numerous cousins; his close friends; and his two beloved furry friends Mimi & Gigi.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Einar & Lillian Anderson; his stepfather, Cecil Milner; his brothers, John (Joe) Anderson and Leland (Lee) Anderson; infant grandson, Eric Scott Lermeny; from his marriage to Betty Jean, his in-laws, Hazen and Delores Evans; his brothers-in-law, Russell Nelson, Ronald (Ron) Evans, and Kenneth (Ken) Duran; his sister-in-law, Maxine Evans Anderson; his niece, Taryn Joy Anderson; his great-nephew Russell (Little Russell) Nelson;  from his marriage to Sheryll, her first husband and his friend, Gerald Robertson; her parents and his in-laws, Clarence & Irma Swanson; and his brother-in-law, Clarence (Arlan) Swanson.

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