Gerald Robert ‘Jerry’ Wetherell was a volunteer fireman and full-time EMT in Denton Township‚ Roscommon County‚ Michigan. Jerry was born on February 23‚ 1938‚ in Flint and lived there until 1973‚ when he moved his family to Denton Township. That year‚ he and his wife‚ Alice‚ purchased the Sand Bar‚ a nightclub on the southeast shore of Houghton Lake. Together they operated the Sand Bar for 38 years. Jerry joined the Denton Township Volunteer Fire Department in 1974‚ where he attained the rank of lieutenant and served until his death on February 28‚ 2012.
The Denton Fire Hall is located next door to the Sand Bar. Living so close‚ Jerry was very often the first person to arrive for a fire or rescue call. He loved being a fireman and helping people. He also enjoyed going on emergency rescue calls and took advantage of all the training the department offered. He trained as a first responder and EMT and became a full-time EMT for the township ambulance service. Jerry was well known and liked by emergency staff personnel at hospitals throughout Michigan’s lower peninsula.
He was an organizer and quick to volunteer for any community event supported by the fire departments. He really enjoyed riding in or driving the fire trucks in parades and at local Halloween events. Jerry also was a powerful advocate for the wellbeing of animals. He belonged to the Humane Society of the U.S. and several state and county animal protection agencies. Jerry was generous with his time and his resources when it came to animals. He rescued three cats from the local shelters and always kept a watchful eye for pets in burning buildings.
Jerry leaves behind his wife of 57 years‚ Alice; two daughters‚ Pamela and Kristine‚ and their husbands‚ Ron and John; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. His smile was contagious! He is missed by his family‚ the members of the Denton Township Fire Department‚ township offices and ambulance service‚ and the many‚ many patrons of the Sand Bar.