Gerald “Jerry” Rettig, 86, of Breckenridge, MN, passed away at Sanford Medical Center, Fargo, on October 14, 2019. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, October 18, 2019, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Breckenridge, with a visitation one hour prior to the Mass. Father Leo Moenkedick will officiate. Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Breckenridge.
Gerald, affectionately known as “Jerry,” was born in Wahpeton, ND, on December 3, 1932, to Florentine and Agnes (Ambers) Rettig. He attended St. John’s Catholic school and later, graduated from Wahpeton High School in 1951. After receiving his diploma, he continued his education at North Dakota State School of Science on a basketball scholarship and obtained a degree in architectural drafting and engineering. Following college, he worked as a draftsman for a lumberyard in Belle Fourche, SD, for two years before joining the United States Marine Corps. He proudly served his country in San Diego, CA, during which, he worked in the Public Works Department from March of 1956 to May of 1958. In 1957, during his years of service in the Marines, Jerry and his team won the Marine Corps Basketball Championship in Hawaii and the following year, took second place.
Jerry’s career was comprised of many facets of experience, he was employed with Twin City Roofing for 17 years and helped develop and coach the North Dakota State School of Science basketball team for five years with Coach Ed Werre. Jerry and his team successfully competed in the National Tournament twice during his time coaching. He then brought his coaching experience to St. Mary’s Catholic School basketball team and taught physical education there. He also worked for Sigco Sun, Wahpeton, for several years and most recently, drove school bus for the Breckenridge School District from 1981 to 2010. Shortly after he began driving school bus, he was inducted to the North Dakota State School of Science athletic Hall of Fame in 1982. When he wasn’t coaching sports, Jerry could be found refereeing all sports in the Wahpeton/Breckenridge community, amassing an impressive 30 years of refereeing. He would even “referee” the ballgames on the television from his recliner.
On December 11, 1976, Jerry was united in marriage to Diane (Picotte) Barkwell at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Breckenridge, and they made their home in Breckenridge.
Jerry enjoyed gardening, spending time at the lake, walking his dogs, and riding his motorcycle and bicycle. In his spare time, he could be found tinkering with broken objects or spending time with his family and friends. Jerry had a big heart and always looked for opportunities to lend a hand.
Jerry will be greatly missed by his wife of 42 years, Diane Rettig of Breckenridge; children, Paul Rettig of Breckenridge, Bruce Rettig of Breckenridge, M. Steven Rettig of Palm Springs, CA, Thomas (Alexis) Barkwell of Escondido, CA, Jeanie (Dennis) Hoffbuhr of Medford, OR, and Kathi Hertzig of Medford, OR; 9 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Florentine and Agnes Rettig, and brother, Robert Rettig.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home, Breckenridge.
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