Jerry V. Limbert
Oct. 3, 1933 — Jan. 25, 2016
Jerry V. Limbert, 82, passed away Monday, Jan. 25, from cardiac arrest at St. Joseph Medical Center in South Bend, Indiana. He is preceded in death by his beloved sister Joan Bonnell, brother Jack Limbert, and his parents Victor and Cordelia Limbert.
Jerry was born Oct. 3, 1933, in Muncie, Indiana, the youngest of the family. He graduated from Muncie Central High in 1951, earning prize money for his senior class trip by winning a jingle-writing contest for a local radio station. Next to Titanic lore and playing the piano, radio would soon become his life’s obsession.
While earning his B.S. degree at Ball State Teachers College (later Ball State University), Jerry got an offer to run the school’s WBST. He stayed on long enough to not only update the station’s antenna system, but to additionally earn his M.A. in 1956. In addition, he was a frequent performer in the summer seasons of Ball State’s Little Shoestring Theatre during the 1950s and early 1960s.
In Oxford, Michigan, he met his future wife Mary Murrish, Oxford High’s Secretary, while teaching the school’s seventh and eighth grades from 1957 to 1964, building lifelong friendships with many of the students he taught. Jerry and Mary soon began dating while co-directing the high school and junior high plays and musicals, as well as publishing the school’s newspaper “The Oxford Echo.”
They eventually married in February 1964, and remained married for over 50 years. Interviewed in 2014 by C.J. Carnacchio for the Oxford Leader, Jerry said the secret to his happy marriage was dedication. “Look out for each other and be considerate.”
In 1964, Jerry accepted a dream position in South Bend, Indiana at WETL-FM, the newly created (and quite experimental) radio branch of the South Bend Community School System.
For 35 years, he combined the passions of teaching and radio production by creatively interpreting K through 6th grade lessons into series broadcasts for school system teachers. As the writer, producer, director and recording engineer, Jerry also produced and directed extended radio dramas for WETL’s “Radio Workshop”. In addition, Jerry also recorded radio and TV commercial voice-overs for local and national markets. He joined the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers in 2010.
Jerry retired in 1999, beginning a glorious and well-earned phase of relaxation, full of piano playing, record buying, music listening, movie watching and antique-shop-frequenting. He also gave lectures on the HMS Titanic and radio history at libraries and care centers in the area.
Jerry is survived by wife Mary Limbert, daughters Mary Beth (Vince) Dominello & Jennifer (Bruce) Lundeen, son Michael (Jennifer) Limbert, and grandchildren Emily and Matthew Lundeen. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews and relatives, as well as former students and colleagues from a life dedicated to teaching, education and mentorship.
A celebration of his life and humor will be planned for this upcoming spring, so don’t touch that dial, folks…
For those preferring a memorial gift, donations are requested in his name to Pet Refuge, 4626 S. Burnett Dr., South Bend, Indiana 46614 (574-231-1122).
Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles, Michigan.