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Gerrit Jerry Meents
Jerry Meents 91, passed away peacefully on December 21, 2021, in Ogden, Utah. He was born in Amsterdam, Holland. Jerry grew up during WWII and was a survivor of the Holocaust. Being the eldest of 8 children, he stole food to help keep his family alive. The memories of that time continued to haunt him for the rest of his life. He was passionate about the truth of the war being told. In later years he was invited to speak at schools and other organizations regarding his experience of growing up as a Jewish child in Holland during WWII. It was humbling listening to these talks and seeing the raw emotion it would still trigger for him many years later.
In 1947 at the age of 17, Jerry and a friend traveled to British controlled Palestine to volunteer to fight in the Israel War of Independence. After Israel was victorious, he returned to his family in Amsterdam, and very quickly a beautiful young lady caught his eye as she was boarding a streetcar. He rushed over and boarded the same streetcar. They were married about a year later in 1951.
His next big adventure started in 1957, when Hanna and Jerry decided to emigrate to the USA with their 5-year-old son. They arrived in New York City and spent a few weeks with Hanna's uncle, but soon realized that New York was too big, crowded, and noisy for their liking. After contacting the only other people they knew in the US, they set out to join their friends in Ogden, Utah. Jerry held various jobs as he worked to overcome the language barrier. In 1972, Jerry accepted a job with Key stone Camera Co., moving the family to Newton, Iowa. After a few years in Iowa, the family moved back to Ogden. In 1987, Jerry opened ''National Surplus Liquidators". This was well known in the Ogden area, and Jerry made many lifelong friends while running his business. He eventually sold the business and retired.
Hanna and Jerry loved traveling. They traveled to numerous places including African safaris, ocean cruises, and Mexico. Holland and Israel were favorite destinations for reconnecting with friends and family.
Jerry's beloved wife, Hanna, passed away in June 2016 after 64 years of marriage.
To pass time and socialize, Jerry liked to spend time at McKay Dee Hospital, where he drank his morning coffee and talked with visitors and volunteers. He made many friends doing this and got to regularly see two of his granddaughters, Jessica and Katie, who worked at the hospital.
Jerry is survived by his children, Dave (Pat) Meents, Mark (Jera) Meents, Shelley (Brett) Arave along with seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Jerry was a past member of Congregation Brith Sholem and was interred next to Hanna after a pri vate graveside ceremony on December 23, 2021, at Leavitt's Aultorest Memorial Park.
The family would like to thank the staff at Hidden Valley Assisted Living, The Auberge As sisted Living and Atlas Hospice for their kind and caring treatment.
I was 4 years old when Jerry (Gerrit)and Hanna left our neighbourhood in Amsterdam, too young to remember him personally but I remember the stories my mother told about him and his familie. Today April 11, 2022 Stumbling Stones for members of my family are placed in the Danie Theronstraat where Gerry grew up. I got reacquainted to Gerry through his stories on the website Geheugen van Amsterdam Oost. I really appreciated Gerrys effort to keep the story of the holocaust alive and real so that we would not forget. Memories are all we get to keep from our experience of living, and the only perspective that we can adopt as we think about our lives is therefore that of the remembering itself https://geheugenvanoost.amsterdam/page/22842/jerry-gerrit-meents
Gerry touched many lives and we are all saddened to hear about his passing. Our thoughts are with your family
Leonard Boon Apr 11 2022 9:45 AM
We lived across from Jerry and Hanna for about 10 years. Jerry loved giving our Boston doggy treats whenever he would see her outside.
I enjoyed visiting with them and hearing their stories.
Jerry will truly be missed.
Im sure Hanna was waiting with open arms.
Love, The Webster's
Kayla Jan 29 2022 9:54 PM
Sending condolences to the Meents family. I will always cherish my memories of Jerry. He was a caring man who always put his family first. A great example to everyone who met him. RIP Jerry. You will be missed.
Wayne Stauffer Jan 16 2022 1:21 PM
We're sending our deepest condolences to the Meents Family. Gerry and Hanny (Hannah) were long-time family friends to our parents as well as to us. Both were always kind and gentle people that our family adored. In fact, Gerry was Best Man at our sister's wedding and Hannah was her Matron of Honor. One aspect Gerry had that always stood out was his affinity with animals, especially dogs. It seems he never met a vicious one because he always got them to act friendly to him. It was a fun sight to see him do that so often.
Anyway, we are sorry to lose Gerry just as we regretted losing Hanny. They were a great couple and they shall be missed.
Max and Pat Havas
Max Havas Jan 12 2022 11:40 AM
Dear Dave (I can't get used to not calling you Harry), Mark, and Shelley. I was sorry to hear about your dad's passing, which I only recently learned. I have many good childhood memories of them visiting with our parents. Your dad was always passionate and expressive, not to mention well-informed, and your mom was always as sweet as she was staunchly supportive of your dad. Good people, both of them. My heartfelt condolences go out to all of you. I hope your good memories of the many years you had together bring you comfort at this time of loss.
Ed Havas Jan 11 2022 5:15 PM
A candle was lit in memory of Gerrit Meents
Susan Peterson Cowles Jan 9 2022 6:10 PM
Dear Dave (Harry), Mark, Shelley and Jessica and the entire Meents family, Please accept my sincere condolences on your father and grandfather's passing. I didn't have a personal relationship with your dad like I did with your mother, but as I read his obituary, he was a brave and passionate man and a remarkable father and grandfather. It sounds like he was a very ambitious man. as I would always read about his involvement in the community in the newspaper How fortunate the families on 27th Street were, to have such a great family move in. Dave (Harry), I have often thought about you and where life has taken you after all these years. Jessica, I will miss you as a practitioner at Ogden Clinic. Your father and mother have finally been reunited after the many trials they endured. God bless all the Meents family.
Susan Peterson Cowles Jan 9 2022 6:08 PM
He was such a wonderful friend 🌹. A lot of memories of Jerry & Hanna at trade shows and vacations in Mexico together 🥂. What a wonderful reunion it must be 🤗
Kathleen Jan 9 2022 8:45 AM
A candle was lit in memory of Gerrit Meents
firstname.lastname@example.org Jan 9 2022 8:41 AM
David, Mark and Shelly, I just found out about Jerry's passing. My deepest sympathy to you three and your family. Jerry and your Mother were very special to me. They always treated me with respect and as if I was part of their family. I have nothing but fond memories of them both.
God bless all of you.
Garold S HART Jan 8 2022 4:28 PM