Gerald Edwin McPherson
October 18, 2023
Gerald Edwin McPherson (aka Jerry Mac) was born on Feb. 16, 1934, and crossed over into eternity on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.
Mac was born in Glasgow, Mont., and reared on the McPherson ranch in McCone County. He was the third child of Thomas and Leila (Copeland) McPherson. Mac's sister, Phyllis, died in infancy, in 1927. Ronald was born in 1929 and finally Mac in 1934. Jerry and Ronnie grew up on the ranch during the "Dam Days": the construction of the Fort Peck Dam (1933-1940).
Both Ronnie and Mac graduated from Nashua High School, Nashua, Mont., and were stand-out athletes...excelling in both basketball and baseball. After Mac graduated, he went to work for Mountain States Telephone Company (later becoming Mountain Bell), working under his brother Ronnie. Together, they were instrumental in making the transition from operator-assisted phone service, to direct-dial, here in Valley County.
In 1956 Mac met and married Shirley Sandsness, in Helena, Mont. In the years that followed, they raised five children, Denise, Mike, Dawn and twin girls, Michelle and Marcelle (Marcelle passed away after only two days).
In 1959, after losing his brother Ronnie in a car accident, Jerry moved his family back to Nashua. He and Shirley bought a house in Glasgow in 1963 and the kids would all graduate, as proud "Scotties," from Glasgow High School. Jerry and Shirley divorced in 1974.
As an avid outdoorsman. Mac spent a great deal of time fishing and hunting... and fishing! And when he wasn't working or fishing, he enjoyed a variety of sports, including baseball, softball, and basketball leagues, bowling, golf, and... did we mention fishing?!
Shortly before his retirement from the Telephone Company, in 1982, Jerry married Jennie Miller. The two spent a great deal of time golfing, bowling, and loving on their dog, Clancy. The couple took to wintering with friends at their place in Arizona and lived the rest of the year at their home in Fort Peck, Mont. Jennie passed away in 2010, as well as their beloved "furbaby," Clancy.
Not wanting their dad to be alone, Jerry's children got him a puppy.... he named him Jake... and the bestest friendship ensued! Wherever you saw, "Mac," you saw Jake!
For the next 11 years, the two were absolutely inseparable. It was during these years that Jerry's struggle with dementia began to manifest itself. When Jake passed away in 2021, it turned Jerry's life upside down. All his friends... at the Gateway, the Marina, Duck Creek, the Oasis, and Alleys Palace... can attest to that.
In 2022, Mac moved back into Glasgow and took up residence with two of his daughters who, with the help of "Hopencagen," and "Old Mud," have made him happy and comfortable right up to his passing!
Mac is preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Leila; sister Phyllis; brother Ronnie; daughter Marcelle; first wife Shirley; second, wife Jennie; grandson Brett Howard; son-in-law Tom Thompson; and great-granddaughter Devon Thompson.
Jerry is survived by his four children, Denise (Jeff) Howard, of Helena, Mont., Mike (Linda) McPherson, of Great Falls, Mont., Dawn Thompson, of Glasgow, and Shelly (Tim) Ryan, of Glasgow; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; one "lil shit" (straight out of papa's mouth!) great-great-grandchild; three nieces; and many dear friends.
Family received friends Oct. 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bell Mortuary, Glasgow.
Funeral services were Oct. 13, at 10:30 a.m. at Bell Mortuary with pastor Christine Hollenbeck officiating. Burial followed in Highland Cemetery and then a reception at the Sunnyside Country Club.
Condolences may be left for the family at bellmortuarymontana.com.