In Memoriam...  Jerome J. "Jerry" Lake, LR13042... February 20, 2006

Former Director Jerry Lake Dies at Age 78

We are saddened to receive news of the death of Jerome "Jerry" Lake, of Tappan, New York, who died on February 20 from cancer at the age of 78.

Jerry was a past director of the Korean War Veterans Association and a past chairman of the National KWVA’s Membership/Chapter Formation Committee. He was the co-founder and the first president of Chapter #90 Eagle (Rockland Co.) Chapter of the New York State KWVA.

Prior to the dedication of the National Korean War Veterans Memorial in 1995, Jerry helped with the coordination of the move of the 19 memorial statues from Tallix Foundry in Beacon to the Mall in Washington, D. C. In 1987, he was involved in having Route 59 named and dedicated as the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.

All who had known and worked with Jerry in the KWVA regarded him as a conscientious and willing advocate for veterans and the organization. He was also an active and a very well appreciated presence in county veterans affairs for many years. In addition to his KWVA membership, Jerry was a member of the American Legion John M. Perry Post in Sparkhill, NY and the founder and president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 364 in Tappan.

Jerry was born on March 14, 1927 in New Ulm, Minnesota, the son of Ernest and Teresa Battes Lake. He attended Ulm High School and Northwestern University before joining the US Navy in April 1945. In June 1951, he returned to active duty and spent the remainder of his service in Japan during the Korean War working on logistical support for Naval and Marine aviation.

Before he shipped out to Japan, he married Mary Jane Hillesheim of Springfield, Minnesota, on January 12, 1950. His wife Jane survives him, as does one son, Thomas Lake, and two daughters, Patricia Melia and Debra Selkow, five grandchildren and three sisters. After the Korean War, Jerry worked for Aluminum Co. of America and later the Zeltine Co. in Pearl River.

For his nine years of service, he received 17 medals, the highest being the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal. He was also the recipient of a distinguished service award from the county. Jerry is the author of a 600-page biography that took him two years to write.

A Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, February 24, at St. Catherine's Church in Blauvelt. Burial will follow in Frederick W. Loescher Veterans Memorial Cemetery in New Hempstead.

Memorial contributions may be made to United Hospice of Rockland, 11 Stokum Lane, New City, NY 10956 or to the American Cancer Society at 800-227-2345.

(Posted 2/22/06)