Gerald J. “Jerry” Dureske, age 76, of Wabasha, died Thursday, June 8, 2017 at St. Elizabeth’s Nursing Home in Wabasha after a brief battle with cancer. He was born January 16, 1941 in Winona to Joseph and Mary (Wenzel) Dureske. Joseph passed away when Jerry was 2 years old. His mother married Dan Baures who took Jerry, and his brother and sister and raised them as his own. Jerry married Carreen “Cookie” Ronnenberg November 5, 1960 in Winona.
Jerry lived all of his life in the Winona area and started working for Federal Bakery in Winona, where he delivered bread all over the area. He retired in 1988, after 29 years there. In 1978 Jerry and Cookie moved the family to Wabasha, where they bought a root beer stand and named it Jeraco’s. For 16 years they employed numerous high school kids for the summer and supported the community in any way they could. In his “retired” years, he enjoyed driving buses to the casino and opening up the local liquor store before finally retiring early last year.
Jerry was a quite the social bug that seemed he had done it all. One could say he was one of the best fast pitch pitchers and bowler’s Winona had back in the day. He was very proud to have been inducted into the Winona Bowling Hall of Fame. He also enjoyed the morning cup of coffee with his buddies at Kwik Trip or just sitting on the deck at home chatting with anyone who would stop by. He loved being around people and most of all, he loved watching his kids grow up and to have grand kids and great-grand kids. Papa always had a story to tell around the camp fire on the many camping trips with the family.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Cookie Dureske, Wabasha, MN; daughters and sons-in-law, Julie and Karl Nuttleman, West Salem WI, Jackie and Steve Sullivan, Cannon Falls, MN; sonsand daughters-in-law, Tom and Janet Dureske, Hurley, SD, Jay and Julie Dureske, Winona, MN; five grandchildren, Megan (Adam) Nerud, Allison (John) Warnecke, Trevor Sullivan (Jacki Hoehn), Cody Dureske and Andrew Dureske; two great-grandchildren, Madison Nerud and Jackson Nerud; brother, Bob Baures (Sheila Lind), Trempealeau, WI, sister, Judy (John) Campbell, Fountain City, WI; brother-in-law, John Ronnenberg, Winona, MN; sisters-in-law, Candy Sumner, Wabasha, MN and Sandra Ronnenberg, Bartlett, TN; nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary Dureske and Dan Baures, parents-in-law, Clarence and Marion Ronnenberg, sister, Jolene Ewings, brother, Thomas Dureske, and brothers-in-law, Garry Ewings, Dale Ronnenberg, Larry Sumner and Terry Ronnenberg.
A time of visitation and remembrance will be held at the Abbott Funeral Home in Wabasha on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 10:00am until noon concluding with a prayer service at noon officiated by Deacon John Hust. Honorary bearers will be his grandkids and great-grandkids.
The Dureske family would like to thank all of the people that were a part of Jerry’s life with us. He was loved by all and he loved all. The Abbott Funeral Home of Wabasha is in charge of arrangements. www.abbottfh.com