Jerome (Jerry) Nathan Morlan of Berthoud, Colorado, passed away on Saturday February 18, 2017 at the age of 87. While doing what he liked best, helping a good friend, Jerry accidentally fell and sustained a severe head injury that he could not overcome.
Jerry was the second oldest of 11 children born to Martha and Clarence Morlan in Newcastle, Nebraska, and is survived by six remaining brothers and sisters, wife Donna of 61 years, 3 daughters, Penny Morlan of Austin Texas, Laurie Levendusky of Loveland, and Cynthia (CJ) Berry, of Berthoud, six grandchildren and four great- grandchildren.
Jerry lived in the Berthoud and Loveland area for over 30 years after retiring from a 35 plus year career as a construction heavy equipment operator associated with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 3, the largest construction trades local in the United States. His profession allowed Jerry and his family to travel across most of the western US, live in many interesting places and work on several important and impressive construction projects. Among these, Jerry worked on railroad construction near the Great Salt Lake where Jerry’s family lived in a remote construction camp.
When someone would drive the dirt road from the camp to the highway, military jets in the area would use the moving vehicle as a target of opportunity to practice strafing runs.
This was a thrill for all involved. At one point, Jerry and family lived out of a tent while working construction at Hell Hole Reservoir west of Lake Tahoe. He also worked on the ice arena at Squaw Valley, California preparing for the 1960 Winter Olympics.
Jerry worked on construction of the Big Foot Rapids attraction at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California and some of the attractions at Disneyland in Anaheim. Later, Jerry assisted in the construction of the, now decommissioned, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station, near Sacramento. He also assisted in the construction of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station that is still in operation near Tonopah, Arizona. These are just a few of the countless experiences and adventures that Jerry provided for his family and friends. Jerry was a proud member of the US Military during the Korean War serving in the Navy as a Fireman on the USS Kennebec, AO-36, a fleet oiler based in Bremerton, Washington. The Kennebec delivered much needed fuel oil to fleet ships stationed throughout the Pacific Ocean. Jerry admitted that he was very sensitive to motion sickness and spent most of his military tour with his head hanging over the side of the ship.
Jerry loved to fish, hunt, camp and four wheel in the mountains, always with close family and friends by his side.
When he wasn’t doing that he and Donna were helping friends with projects or visiting with people at the Berthoud Community center. He was actively involved in the Town of Berthoud and was sought out many times for his input and perspective on important issues presented in town hall meetings. Jerry always had a colorful way of expressing himself and those close to him knew the only way to keep him quiet was to tie his hands, and if he felt strongly enough about something, that wouldn’t even work.
Please join Jerry’s family and friends at a memorial to celebrate his life and share memories of his adventures and experiences on Sunday March 12 at 4:00 PM, at the Berthoud Community Center, 248 Welch Avenue, in Berthoud.
In lieu of flowers the family would prefer donations in support of Honor Flight in Jerry’s memory. To donate, go to www.honorflight.org  and follow the online donation instructions or mail your tax-deductible donation to: Honor Flight, Inc. Attn: Diane Gresse 175 South Tuttle Road Springfield, OH 45505.