Jerry’s life began November 1, 1936 in the boot heel of Missouri. Known as Jerry Jean by family and friends, she was the oldest of ten children. Coming out of the Great Depression, times were hard and she worked in the cotton fields alongside her parents, siblings, young husband (Thurl Craig) and his family. Each year they followed the crop harvests up to Michigan, where they bunked up in migrant housing and picked fruit. After settling in Michigan to raise a family, Jerry also worked for several different places including Watervliet Papermill, DeGroot Inc., doing home health care, sold Avon, and was a beloved “kitchen lady” for Watervliet Public Schools for many years. She was married to her beloved Verlyn Cowgill for 43 years. Jerry Jean enjoyed crocheting, knitting, sewing and Facebook word games. She also loved being an active member of her church family at First Missionary Baptist Church of Coloma.
Above everything, Jerry loved her family whom she leaves behind to cherish her memory. Surviving her are two children, Larry Craig and Mary (José) De Urioste; daughter-in-love, Victoria Craig; daughter-in-law, Cheryl (Don) Craig; two step children, Kathy (Robert) Hornbarger and Kevin Cowgill; 10 grandchildren, Donald (Erika) Craig II, Tighe Steven (Shawna) Craig, Melody Craig (Denin), Aaron Barton, Tosha Eldridge, Chris Hosmer, Justin Hosmer, Erin Cowgill, Savannah Craig, and Ian Craig; numerous great grandchildren; four brothers Ron Miner, Kenny Foresythe, William “Bub” Forsythe, and Gary Foresythe; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Jerry Jean died unexpectedly Wednesday, May 3, 2023. She is preceded in death by: her husband Verlyn Cowgill; two sons Donald Ray Craig and Steve Craig; stepson Rick Cowgill; dad Jimmy Miner; mom Frances (Williamson) Foresythe; and five siblings, Jimmie Miner, Doris Miner, Patricia Miner, Martha Miner, and Larry Miner.
A memorial service will be held at First Missionary Baptist Church, 295 Washington St, Coloma, MI 49038 on Friday, May 12, 2023 at 10:30am. Immediately following the service, the church will provide a luncheon for all in attendance. Memorials may be made to the church.
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