In Memory of

Jerald "Jerry" Leland Crew

February 13, 1935 - June 10, 2020
From: Webb, IA
Jerald "Jerry" Leland Crew

Jerald "Jerry" Leland Crew

Born: February 13, 1935
Died: June 10, 2020
Age: 85

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     Jerald Leland Crew, of Webb, Iowa, met his Savior on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at age 85. Jerry was born February 13, 1935, as the first baby born in the new Spencer hospital, to Norval and Emma Crew, the oldest of their eight children. Jerry spent his childhood years on the family farm south of Gillett Grove, where he worked learning the aspects of successful farming. Jerry’s love of the land began on the farm, which he later worked to improve and grew to love.

     Jerry graduated from Gillett Grove High School in 1952, where he was valedictorian, played basketball, and was active in FFA. After high school, Jerry received an agricultural scholarship to attend Iowa State College, where he majored in education, was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, and was in the Air Force ROTC.  Jerry completed his student-teaching in Forest City before graduating in 1956. Following graduation, he joined the United States Air Force and acquired the rank of major. Jerry’s highest achievement, however, was serving as RSO for the SR-71. Fondly recalling many fascinating tours, Jerry spoke of his scariest moment flying over Vietnam when missiles were fired at their aircraft. Jerry retired from active duty on December 12, 1969, and returned to the family farm, where he expanded his farming practice and began a farrow to finish hog operation. Long hours were a labor of love as Jerry worked to improve the land. Firmly believing in the value of land stewardship, Jerry sought to leave the land better than the condition in which he found it. He worked faithfully at soil conservation and served as a Clay County Soil Commissioner for over three decades. He was also a long-time Farm Bureau member and an avid gardener, often donating his produce to benefit his church and Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School. Jerry tirelessly promoted no-till farming and often penned letters to the editor supporting its benefits. A recipient of numerous conservation awards and nominations, Jerry was a true pioneer in the field of sustainable agriculture.

     Jerry staunchly supported the Clay County Republicans and was found volunteering at the Clay County Fair yearly in their booth. He was outspoken in his beliefs and was frequently published in countless newspaper and magazine publications raising awareness and discussion over multiple issues. Whether one agreed with him or not, he was respected as one who worked for the causes in which he believed.

     Meeting the love of his life while stationed in California, Jerry found Georgia Owen to be his soulmate. The two were united in marriage on October 24, 1969, in Marysville, California. After relocating to Iowa to farm, two children were born to this union. Peter (Andrea) and Jill both learned to love agriculture, their families, and God as they followed in the footsteps of their parents. Jerry’s family was his greatest earthly treasure, and he spent many precious hours playing cards, fishing, and laughing with his seven grandchildren. They each possess special traits attributable to their beloved Grandpa.

     Jerry’s faith was the cornerstone on which he centered his life. Jerry was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Ayrshire, on May 12, 1935, and was confirmed there on April 10, 1949. He was a member of Ayrshire Lutheran Church and later First English Lutheran Church in Spencer, serving as an elder at both. Jerry served as a long-time, active Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School board member, faithfully working to spread the Gospel to the next generation. IGLLS had a special and very large space in his heart.

     Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Norval and Emma Crew, his brothers David and Ron Crew, and two infant brothers. Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 51 years, Georgia (Owen) Crew, son Peter Crew (wife Andrea, children Ryan, Austin, Molly, Abbey); daughter Jill Hanson ( children Emma, Sydney, and Macy); sisters LaVonne (Monty) Putbrese, Karen (Tom) Wheaton, Carmen (David) Warford; sister-in-law Shari Crew; and extended family and numerous friends. In lieu of flowers, donations will be given to Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School in Jerry’s name.


Funeral services will be held 10:00 A.M., Monday, June 15, at First English Lutheran Church in Spencer.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School.
Pastor Paul Kaldahl
Nathan Putbrese
Dan Putbrese
AJ Warford
Leo Stephas
Bob Crew
Jeff Crew
Visitation will be held Sunday, June 14, starting at 2:00 P.M., with family present from 2-4:00 P.M., at Warner Funeral Home in Spencer.
"Alas and Did My Savior Bleed"
"Earth and All Stars"
"Rock of Ages"
"Amazing Grace"
Logan Township Cemetery
Gillett Grove, Iowa


Monday, June 29, 2020 at 10:51 AM
“Dear Georgia and family. My heart goes out to you as you navigate a new life without Jerry. Jim and I enjoyed our visit with you several years ago at your farm. Old RSO together and I was fortunate to meet and visit with you. My Jim left November 11 but legally the 12. Bet they’re visiting and maybe buzzing about with other SR guys as well as the farm and conservation hero’s
Met over the years. May your memories bring you joy . Surely GOD has blessed all whom Jerry knew and touched. We felt blessed. Jan hemingway”
- Wife of James Fagg , jan Hemingway.
Friday, June 19, 2020 at 10:46 AM
“The emails quit coming. I wrote "are you there?" Then googled Jerry. So shocked and sad to loose this friend I never met. It was a dream of mine to share a beer with Jerry. Our district conservationist joked about Jerry's constant proposals to limit subsidies to only no-tillers. Hooray! But I argued "No subsidies." He accepted this old libertarian and I was so proud for that honorable man's blessing. I will miss him too. Thanks for sharing. ”
- Fritz Groszkruger
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 2:57 PM
“I always enjoyed listening to Jerry when he would explain and defend resolutions at the Annual Conservation Districts of Iowa Conference. His passion for conservation was contagious. He will be missed. ”
- Maureen McLaughlin Hutchcroft
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 2:57 PM
- Pauline Antons, Jones County Assistant Commissorer.
Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 12:36 PM
“To Carmen and all the Crew family: please accept our sympathy. May God wrap you all in loving hands and give you peace. Ron an Carol (Stoermer) Swartz”
- Ron and Carol Swartz
Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:22 AM
“Georgia, we are saddened to learn of the loss of your husband. We will be praying for you.”
- Gary and Amy Vande Vegte
Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:22 AM
“Dear Jill and the entire Crew family, my family and I are sending our thoughts and prayers to you for support and love. May the Holy Spirit comfort you. Hugs to all of you as we cannot be with you today. We are thinking of you. ”
- Suzanne Behnke
Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 11:58 AM
“Dear Georgia, Pete & Andrea, Jill and Family,
We are heartbroken with you in the home-going of Jerry, as he'll be so greatly missed here on earth. Yet we rejoice that he's finally with his Savior and Lord. We are praying for God's peace and comfort to be yours in the days ahead. I always enjoyed a rousing conversation with Jerry; he'd raise an eyebrow at me after making his point, as if it suggest: "Now it's your turn. Jump in. Throw me a zinger so we can keep this discussion going." :) Loved that guy. - Susan C.”
- Susan Christensen
Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 11:57 AM
“To Jerry's Beloved,
My condolences to you all. I will miss Jerry and his contagious smile. I will also miss doing an omelet His way. We had such good times sharing and teasing each other. If I still had a plow I would bury it in his honor. Dale Kimball”
- Dale Kimball
Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 11:19 AM
“Pete, Andrea and Family, it saddens me to hear of Jerry's passing. He truly was "one of a kind"! Always enjoyed Eggs and Issues and other opportunities to interact with him. He had plenty of opinions, and we were all privileged to ponder them! He did a lot of good, and touched many lives! He will be missed. Proud to know him.”
- Bill Kersting
Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 11:17 AM
“Carmen, Please accept my condolences on the loss of your brother, May he rest in peace. And may you be consoled that Our Lord will grant him Eternal rest and that the perpetual light will shine upon him. ”
- John Payne Jones
Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 7:57 AM
“Dear Pete, Andrea, Georgia and family— we extend sincere sympathy on the loss of your dad and husband. Jerry’s was a life well lived. With the memories you made and the legacy he leaves, his is a life well honored, too. We ask God to bless you with His peace and comfort. ”
- Ken and Cheryl Hessenius
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:12 PM
“Jerry was a great guy and very focused on conservation, he will be missed, we are thankful for having the opportunity to work with and serve with him.”
- Randy Caviness
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:12 PM
“We, here at Farm News want to pass along our sympathies.
Jerry has been as much of a part of Farm News as any of us.
Whether it was a story I wrote, or someone else did that had a subject that I knew Jerry wouldn't care for, it made me chuckle! Because I knew his letter was coming.
We don't get many letters to the editor very often, the majority of them have been from Jerry.
I will miss our correspondence.
Please, take care!
Kriss Nelson, Farm News editor and the rest of the Farm News team.”
- Kriss Nelson
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:12 PM
“Georgia and Family, As a former Iowa Farm Bureau Regional manager, I always respected Jerry for his forthrightness when presenting a message. No matter whether the message was about Farm Bureau or other topics, he was always willing to try to improve things or make changes that would. I will miss his subtle and sometimes not so subtle humor. He and I spent many times after board meetings talking about various subjects and I was the better for listening to what he said. Love and respect to you and your family. Vince Davis”
- Vince Davis
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 12:12 PM
“I lost an old friend this week. I will definitely miss running in to him and enjoying many conversations. I really enjoyed his NASCAR opinions and Jerry telling it like it is. He always spoke his mind and you always knew where he stood. I know he is in a better place and at peaceful rest. ”
- Steve
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:07 AM
“I am saddened to here about Jerry's passing. He was one of the first commissioners I met when I got involved with CDI. While we didn't agree on a lot, we always found time at conference to have long lively discussions and telling story's over a meal or a drink, I will miss that a lot. He was a true zealot for our states soil and water. I have met few people in my life with such conviction. His voice will be missed. ”
- Alex Schmidt, Conservation Districts of Iowa Past President, National Association of Conservation Districts North Central Rep
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:06 AM
“My heartfelt condolences for your loss. Both Jerry and I served as Soil and Water Conservation Commissioners. When I was newly elected, Jerry would willingly share his knowledge with me about the impact of the conservation practices he used on his farm and the need for many others. Jerry was always passionate and vocal at our Conservation Districts of Iowa annual meetings. His contributions will be missed.”
- Jeri Thornsberry
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:06 AM
“There will never be another Jerry ~ he was a loyal friend and will be dearly missed by those of us who knew him well. One of my best memories was going out to the farm last spring to help him plant onion sets. The meadowlarks were singing, it was a beautiful spring day. and the conversation never lagged. My sympathies and Gods ✝ peace to Georgia and the entire family. ”
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:06 AM
“Georgia and family, so sorry to hear of your loss of Jerry. He was a special kind of person. The thing I remember the most was when I was around Georgia and Jerry you could just feel the love in the room. He was truly one of the good guys!”
- Jim Higgins
Friday, June 12, 2020 at 8:06 AM
“I have many fond memories of Jerry while growing up. From getting the old "Oscar Swanson" roughing up treatment, to a fishing trip to Okoboji (in rented rowboats) to celebrate the end of threshing season, to pranks pulled on old neighbor Thurman Sharp. Jerry was a true patriot who served his country with honor.”
- Harley Kraft
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 4:20 PM
“Dear Georgia, Pete and Andrea, Jill, grandchildren, and families,
We were saddened to learn of Jerry's passing but rejoice that his journey is now complete. Our ties to your family go way back to the days of Dave and Shari, Ron and Joy at CTK. Of course, our paths continued to cross over the years as we all became members of FELC. We enjoyed our conversations with Jerry and always respected his firm stand on whatever topic we were discussing. His love of the Lord was obvious as was his love for his family, and his love for the land. He truly was a farmer through and through. His produce was a special treat for any of us that knew him, and nobody raised sweet corn like Jerry did. It was an honor to have known him. During this time of great sorrow, may you feel the Lord's abiding peace and mercy. We know that many great memories will be your source of comfort in the days ahead. In Christ's love-Tom and Mary Galik”
- Mary Galik
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 3:35 PM
- brad bolyard
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 2:38 PM
“So sorry to hear about Jerry's passing. I served with him in Viet Nam.”
- Denny Thomas
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 1:48 PM
“Dear Georgia and family, My sincere sympathy on your loss of Jerry. He was always kind, funny and so interesting. I know you will miss him until you are together again. ”
- Connie S Heien
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 1:48 PM
“So sorry for your loss..didnt know Jerry well but went to school at South Clay with. Carmen Crew..miss her!! Long ago!# ”
- Barb culver
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