Jerry Elmer Fossum

Published 6:31 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

Jerry Elmer Fossum (Lt. Col., USAF, Ret) was born in Albert Lea, MN on May 20, 1935, to his parents, Elmer and Ella Fossum. As a collegiate hockey player, he always fought the fight. Since 2019 he battled lung cancer and COPD and more recently metastatic brain cancer. Jerry passed away peacefully with his family at his side on March 25, 2024.

Jerry Elmer Fossum

He was reared and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1953. After working for a truck gardener for several summers, he graduated from St. Olaf College, MN with a B.A. Degree in Business and Economics in 1957. Jerry and his high school sweetheart, Pat Johnsrud, were married in 1957.

Having participated in the Air Force R.O.T.C., he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at his graduation and began active military service in 1958. Jerry’s first deployment was as a postal officer for two years at Misawa Air Force Base, Japan followed by a two-year assignment at Fuchu Air Station in Tokyo, Japan. The Air Force then sent Jerry to College Station, Texas to attend Texas A&M University where he graduated with a master’s degree in business administration in 1964. Jerry then transitioned his work to a Systems Analyst in Personnel at Scott AFB, IL, for 4.5 years followed by assignment to Randolph AFB, TX, for five years. He completed training at the Air Force Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, AL. He served five years at Gunter Air Force Station as the Director of Personnel of 2500 automation types where he retired from military service on September 30, 1979.

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Jerry’s reflections on his military career are, “I enjoyed every one of my assignments, and I was grateful. The Air Force was good to me, and I tried to be a good servant to the Air Force. I liked my job. I would like future generations to remember this about me: I pursued a love for my country and a respect for its flag. I tried to help, and I hope that I was a good leader and a good family person.”

After his military retirement, Jerry worked at and retired from the AL Department of Economic and Community Affairs in employment and training of personnel for 16 years. He and his wife have been involved in the antique business operating five booths at the Eastbrook Flea Market in Montgomery, AL. His passion is hunting deer, dove, ducks, geese, and turkey as well as fishing. He enjoyed the water and spending time at his Lake Martin home with his family. He traveled to various places to fish and hunt including Japan, Newfoundland, Europe, Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. He also traveled the world serving as “cheerleader and photographer” with his world champion triathlete/duathlete wife, Pat Fossum, to locations including Australia, England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, and Hawaii. During retirement, he served on the State of Alabama Senior Olympics Board and was engaged with the local bike and running clubs. He has been a member of the Retired Officers Association at Maxwell AFB, the Power Squadron, and the Lake Martin Homeowners and Boat Owners Association.

Jerry was an avid storyteller, always bragging about the accomplishments of his wife and two children. He enjoyed watching sports and was extremely competitive placing a wager of a crisp 2-dollar bill with family members on who selected the winner of the game. Jerry is survived by his wife, Pat, of 66 years, and their two children: Scott Fossum (Elvia Fossum) and Lynn Fossum (Annette Scogin).

We welcome family and friends to drop in for a celebration of Jerry’s phenomenal life on Saturday, 30 March, from 2pm – 5pm CST. Military honor recognition will occur at 4pm CST. The address is 7118 Old Southwick Place, Montgomery, AL.