The sun set for Gerald "Jerry" Elvin Mollerstuen of Centralia, Wash., May 1, 2021, as he rested in the arms of Jesus at the age of 91. Jerry was born Aug. 30, 1929, in Scobey, Mont., to Alice and George Mollerstuen. They later moved to Spokane for George’s work. When they moved back to Montana, Jerry stayed and lived on his own at age 17, finishing high school at Rogers High. He joined the United States Army in February of 1951, and served during the Korean War until December of 1952.
Upon his return from service, he attended Kinman Business School. While in Spokane, he met his one true love, Patricia Hodges, and the two married and began raising a family. He then began a long career with Washington Water Power in Spokane. In 1970, he was transferred to Widco (Centralia Coal Mine) in Centralia, Wash., where he was the pay master. Everyone loved Jerry, not only because he issued the paychecks but because he was a kind, loving, and patient man who genuinely cared about each and every person he came into contact with. Jerry retired in 1991, and he and Pat enjoyed driving to Montana to visit relatives, trips to Reno, and the beaches of Oregon and Washington.
Jerry played the trombone in several area jazz and big band ensembles up to the time he was 87 years old, including The Sounds of Swing, Men of Note, and The Locust Street Dixieland Band. He also played in the Centralia College Jazz Band up to the time he was 83, encouraging young people to continue with music and share their talent with others. He always supported young musicians by attending most Centralia School District and Centralia College concerts.
Jerry was very proud of his family and loved each one unconditionally. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia Mollerstuen; his three children, Douglas Mollerstuen and wife, Christine of Dallas, Ore., Larry Mollerstuen and wife, Gayle of La Quinta, Calif., and Janet Gunn of Spokane, Wash.; and brother, Larry Mollerstuen and wife, MaryEllen of Whidbey Island, Wash. His love and pride for his grandchildren was unending; Eric, Ben, Lucas, and Emily, Mandi and Micah, Elliot and Allie, Ryan, Kayln, and Brad, Mitchell and Nathan. His 19 great-grandchildren brought more joy to his life and he was even known to go down the slide a time or two when he was 87.
Jerry was the best example of what a true gentleman should be. Many have said about Jerry that he is a true “gentleman’s gentle man”. The husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, and friend he was, will live in our hearts forever.
The family requests donations may be made in Jerry’s name to the Centralia College Music Scholarship Program. A reception of remembrance may be held at a later date.