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December 16, 2008 3:34 am

Jerald Jerry Close

Written by Tribune Staff

(April 1, 1945 - Nov. 29, 2008)

Jerry Close, 63, died Nov. 29, from complications developed following surgery. A memorial service honoring Jerry's life was held Dec. 4 at the family home in Walla Walla, Wash.

Jerry was born on Easter morning, April 1, 1945 in Lovell to Harold and Georgia (Frame) Close. Jerry's early days began on the Paint Creek and Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River near Clark. Jerry attended grade school at Clark and graduated from Cody High School. He attended college at Northwest College in Powell and the University of Washington in Seattle, earning a degree in Urban Planning.

Jerry served in the Army National Guard in Wyoming and Washington. It was in Seattle that Jerry met Bonnie Lorton, and she became his wife and partner for 41 years. They moved to Walla Walla in 1976 with their little girl, Jennie, and bought a small farm. Soon after they moved to Walla Walla their son Jerry Jr. was born, along with his custom home building business that spanned 30 years.

As Jerry planned and built homes for his clients, many became lifelong friends that were welcome at his home anytime. In the past few years, Jerry and Bonnie turned their Close Farm into an asparagus farm known for freshness and high quality throughout the valley.

Jerry enjoyed fly fishing, relaxing with friends over a cold one, reading lots of good books, traveling, the beauty of nature and caring for his family. Survivors include his wife Bonnie; daughter Dr. Jennie Close of New York City, New York; son Jerry Close and wife Lianon of Portland, Maine; mother Georgia Close of Clark; sister Tamie Close of Clark; five brothers, Chuck (Virginia) of Fresno, Calif., Glen (Dana) of Eatonville, Wash., Bart of Frenchtown, Mont., Roy (Ronda) of Billings and Tom (Norma) of Powell. Jerry was preceded in death by his father Harold Close.