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Gerardus (Jerry) DeGroot
February15, 1933-September 19, 2020
DeGroot obit pic
God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be; so He put his arms around you and whispered, “Come with Me”.
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer and saw you fade away.  Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay.
   A golden heart stopped beating; hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best!   ~Author Unknown
   Gerardus “Jerry” DeGroot passed away on September 19, 2020, after a 13-year battle with Alzheimer's. As in life, his wife and daughters were by his side. Together, Jerry and his loving and devoted wife, Bep Brama, had three daughters: Margaret (deceased), Jeanette (Greg) Gerlomes of Stockton, and Marian (Shawn) Graham of Modesto. He was blessed with three grandchildren, Jennifer (Matthew) Medel of St. Louis, Scott Gerlomes of Los Angeles, and Matthew Gerlomes of San Francisco. He was also blessed with one great granddaughter, Madeleine Medel.
Jerry came from a large family and was one of 16 children.
   He is preceded in death by his parents, Cornelius and Maria DeGroot, his brothers, Monsignor James DeGroot, Cornelius, Nick, Bill and Jozef, and by his sisters, Wilhelmina (Vandenburg), Clazien (Smit), and Helena.  He is survived by his siblings, Marinus, Al, brother Peter, father Ignatius, Leo, Ben and Ria, as well as countless nieces and nephews … literally.
   Jerry was born on February 15, 1933 in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, and immigrated to the United States in 1952 when he was just 19 years old. He proudly served his new country in the United States Army for two years. After completion of his service, he traveled back to the Netherlands to marry his beloved Bep.  They spent the next 65 years building their life together and became an example to their children and grandchildren of marital commitment.
   Jerry was an entrepreneur and began his career in the milk and farming industry with his father and his brothers.  Initially, C. DeGroot and Sons was a small family operation and eventually grew to include Jersey Crown Dairy, a milk production and delivery business.  Jerry would say that the best part of this business was the privilege to work side by side with his brothers, Nick, Al and Leo.  Later, Jerry established the De Kaas Fabriek (translated The Cheese Factory) and retired at the age of 55.
   Besides being a hard working businessman and a devoted family man, Jerry was committed to his faith. He was a devout Catholic and a parishioner of the Diocese of Stockton for 68 years. He served several diocesan organizations including the Young Men’s Institute #88, the seminarian fund, St. Anthony's Educational Foundation, and SEEDS - Growing Faith through Student Scholarships.  His philanthropic efforts did not stop there. He also worked tirelessly for years in service to the Hanot Foundation, Stockton Blind Center, and the Ripon Rotary. He loved nothing more than to contribute his time and treasure in service to others.
   Jerry was not all work, he loved to have a good time too.  When not working or fundraising, he could be found on the golf course, in the bowling alley, playing cards with his brothers and eldest sister, or traveling around the world.  One of Jerry’s greatest joys was his grandchildren.  As “Opa”, he spent much of his time relishing in their activities and academics, he rarely missed their school  or sporting events. He was their biggest fan. To family, friends and even strangers,  Jerry had a mischievous spirit and a distinct twinkle in his eyes, he was always ready with a joke or a tease.
Jerry lived a full life, touching the hearts of many. He will be missed.
   The family of Jerry DeGroot extends their heartfelt thanks to SEVA Hospice for their attentive care to him over the past six months.   
   A special thanks goes out to the owners and staff of Valley Comfort/ Assisted Living and Dementia/Alzheimer’s Residence of Modesto. Jerry was a resident for three years and the care and love he received there was second to none.  Valley Comfort became his second family.
   In lieu of flowers, please kindly consider making a donation to one of his favorite charities in his honor. Those charities are:
●    Hanot Foundation, Inc (Homes for the Disabled): Please make payable to ”Hanot Foundation - Memorial Fund” and mail to: P.O. Box 950, Lockeford, CA 95237 or call 209.334.6454
●    SEEDS - Growing Faith through Student Scholarships:  Please make payable to ”SEEDS” and mail to: Office of Development & Stewardship, 212 North San Joaquin Street, Stockton, CA 95202-2409  or call 209-466-063
   Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Funeral Service for Jerry DeGroot will be private. A celebration of life will be held in the near future.
   P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home is honored to serve the DeGroot family. An online guestbook is available for condolences at

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Tuesday, September 29, 2020