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.