Gerald Earl Hatzenbuhler was born May 29, 1932, at Sioux City, IA, to Edwin and Katie (Klucking) Hatzenbuhler. He grew up in Mitchell and graduated from Mitchell High School and Dakota Wesleyan University. On July 8, 1951, he married Bonnie Blacksten at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. He served 20 years in the US Air Force and lived in Denver, CO, Misawa, Japan, the Philippines, Spokane, WA and Los Angeles, Atwater and Victorville, CA. He returned to Mitchell, and was an electrical construction teacher at Mitchell Vocational Technical School for 19 years.
He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, and served on the Board of Trustees. He had been a member of the Masons in the Philippines, taught Sunday school in Misawa, Japan, sang in the church choir in Victorville, CA and served on the Mitchell City Council.
Jerry’s love of his life was his granddaughter, Alexis. He loved to learn new information. He took an old house and added rooms, cupboards a fireplace and the work had to be done right. His mind was always working and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do. He loved hunting pheasants and hunted the first day with a special group for over 20 years. He loved his life in the Air Force, enjoyed hearing from his Vo-Tech students and always had a special dog. He enjoyed his special coffee friends at Daylight Donuts.
He is survived by his wife Bonnie, one son, Choan Hatzenbuhler of Newport Beach, CA, his granddaughter, Alexis Estes of Vermillion, three sisters-in-law, Val Hatzenbuhler of Alliance, NE; Norma Hatzenbuhler of CO; and Beverly Nearhood and her husband Harold of Ethan. He was preceded in death by his daughter Jerri Kay Estes, two brothers, Edwin Hatzenbuhler Jr. and Richard Hatzenbuhler, his parents and his mother and father-in-law.