Gerry was born in Manchester, IA, September 16, 1918, to Edith (Anderson) and Luther Wiltse. He received his education in the local schools, graduating with the Manchester High School class of 1936. After graduation, he worked at the Castle Theatre for a year before traveling to California where he worked for Lockheed Aircraft. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he returned home to enlist in the United States Army. He was sworn into active duty February 28, 1942 and served in the Signal Corps and the Army Air Force. During his tour of duty, he spent two years in Europe with the 21st Mobile Weather Squadron of the 9th Air Force. After his honorable discharge on October 1, 1945, he enrolled at the University of Iowa, under the GI bill. Gerry graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce, then went to work in Des Moines and later Denver, CO for Continental Insurance Company. He worked for Continental until 1954, when he purchased a local insurance agency in Manchester. That business became Howard & Wiltse, and later Howard, Wiltse & Jones. On May 5, 1957, he was united in marriage to Joyce L. (Porter) Mundy at the Manchester United Methodist Church chapel. He subsequently adopted Joyce’s two children, Dick and Chris.
Gerry was active in the business community, serving on many boards and commissions both before and after his 1983 retirement. He was past president of the West Delaware School Board and a longtime member and past president of the Manchester Public Library. He also served as president of the local Rotary Club, where he became a Paul Harris fellow, and was a part of the Manchester Masonic Lodge. He was a lifelong member of the Manchester United Methodist Church, where he served on various committees. In 1994 he was selected to be in the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame.
Gerry and Joyce loved to travel and did so worldwide. Gerry also enjoyed traveling in the United States, particularly to the mountains and national parks. His last trips included the WWII museum in New Orleans in 2011 and being part of an Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2012 as a World War II veteran. Additionally, he liked to read, fly light aircraft, play golf, and cheer on the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Chicago Cubs.
Gerry’s three grandchildren were a highlight of his life, and he loved watching them grow up. He also was thrilled to meet his first great-grandchild, born November 6, 2014.
Gerry’s family includes his son Richard Mundy of Cedar Rapids; his daughter Christine Mundy and husband Jack Young of Manchester; grandchildren Ethan Mundy of Norfolk VA; Alicia (Mundy) Hoerschelman and husband Hans of Iowa City, Paige (Mundy-Young) Moore and husband Tony of Ankeny; great-grandson August Gerald Hoerschelman; nephew Alan Hattel and wife Sue of Dubuque; and three great and seven great-great nieces and nephews.
Preceding Gerry in death were his parents, his beloved wife Joyce in 1990, his sister Jean Hattel of Cedar Falls in 2004, and his niece Marcia (Hattel) Fitzgerald in 2012.
Visitation will be at Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home in Manchester Sunday, January 4, 2015 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. A celebration of Gerry’s life will be Monday, January 5, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at the Manchester United Methodist Church, with interment in Oakland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials directed to Manchester United Methodist Church or The Meadows (Good Neighbor Society).
Please share a memory of Gerry at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.