Gerald 'Jerry' Rager


BRYAN — Gerald L. “Jerry” Rager, 77, Bryan, died Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at Community Hospital and Wellness Center, Bryan, Ohio

Jerry was born June 20, 1941, in Kenton, Ohio, the son of Lowell A. and Helen (Guider) Rager. He graduated in 1959 from Kenton High School and enlisted for six years in the U.S. Navy Reserves, where he served two years at Pautuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Shortly after his discharge from active duty, he married Loueta (Weedy) Mewhorter on November 3, 1962, and she passed on January 14, 1988.

Surviving are two daughters, Michelle R. Gritzmaker and Rebecca (Curt) J. Jones; and four grandchildren, Benjamin and Brian Gritzmaker, Stephanie and Lindsey Burklo.

Also surviving are a sister-in-law, Judy Anderson of Kenton; and special friend, Jeanie Bassett and her family, stepchildren, and a stepgranddaughter.

His parents; sisters, Frances Winebrenner and Dorothy Needham; brother, Paul Rager; and a stepgrandson are deceased.

Jerry started his career at a collection agency in Findlay, Ohio. He later went to work at City Loan in Kenton. After six years in Kenton, he moved to Hicksville and worked with Dietrich Industries as credit manager. In 1977, he went to work at The Hicksville Bank and after 20 years, resigned as VP of lending. He had a short stint with Sherwood Bank and then retired as assistant VP and branch manager of First Federal Bank of the Midwest. He enjoyed 40 years in the financial industry. To further his career in banking, he was a graduate of the Ohio School of Banking, the Ohio School of Bank Marketing, the Ohio School of Commercial Lending and the Graduate School of Banking at Madison, Wisconsin.

Jerry was the charter president of the Hicksville Kiwanis Club. He served a term on the village council and a term on the zoning board. He enjoyed 10 years as treasurer of the Defiance County Fair Board, served a couple terms on the United Way of Defiance County board, and was a charter member of the Community Memorial Hospital Foundation Board.

Funeral services for Jerry will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Smith & Brown Funeral Home, Hicksville. Visitation will be Monday from 2-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will take place in Forest Home Cemetery, Hicksville, with military honors.

Memorials may be made to the Veterans/Senior Citizens Pavilion at the Defiance County Fairgrounds. Online condolences may be shared at

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