Gerald Poorman SR. died suddenly on March 9th at home in Belmont, MI at the age of 81.
Jerry loved his family dearly and is survived by his children Joy (Dave) Ford of Lowell, Kathy (Scott) Porter of Grand Rapids, Beth (Troy) Simmons of Alto; Nine Grandchildren, Josh (Jarmila) Poorman, Samantha Poorman, Jake Poorman, Mike Ford, Mark Ford, Nicole Porter, Emily Helmer, Ashley Helmer, Ronnie Simmons. Three great-grandchildren Riah Ford, Julian Poorman, Jonathan Poorman. Sisters Jeane Ripley of Pentwater, Sue Richards of Raleigh, NC. Brother Kenn (Zeon) Poorman of Salt Lake City, UT. many nieces, nephews and close friends. He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 56 years JoAnn Poorman, his son Gerald Poorman Jr., his parents Leslie and Gertrude Poorman, his sister Judith Poorman-Zylstra, Granddaughter-in law Ashley Ford.
Jerry was a graduate of Union High School in 1956. It was there, while marching in the band that he met the love of his life, JoAnn and they married later that year. Upon completion of his army basic training, he started work at Kent Foundry Company in Grand Rapids, MI. working alongside his father and grandfather. In the mid 70’s, Jerry purchased the foundry from his father and began its transformation into a world-renowned Gray and Ductile Iron Foundry. To say he loved working in the foundry is an understatement. He had his heart, soul and life poured into the shop every hour of everyday. The employees that he worked side by side with were more than workers but were family and he treated every single one that way. Probably one of the reasons he made that business so successful. In mid 2012, Jerry sold the foundry but continued working there in some capacity until he officially retired in 2019.
Jerry loved ALL sports. From playing baseball in his younger years (even got a call back on his tryout with the Cubs) coaching and sponsoring Little League baseball teams to bowling, fishing and golf. Golf became his favorite and loved playing courses all over the USA. His favorite place to golf was the Hawaiian Islands and even though JoAnn didn’t golf, she was next to him in the cart enjoying the time and beauty of their surroundings together. Getting back on the golf course was what he was striving for…
Another staple in Jerry’s life was his church. He sang in the choir for so many years (too many to count) and was a member of the Vestry, worked picnics, garage sales, fish fry’s, you name it – he was there. Jerry and JoAnn shared the same amazing faith and devoted their lives to God.
A memorial service will be held in the near future and will be announced.