Gerald L. “Jerry” Bast died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at the age of 85. He was born March 11, 1934 in St. Johns to Isadore and Gertrude (Karber) Bast. Jerry was a graduate of Rodney B. Wilson High School in St. Johns, Class of 1953. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns and was an Army veteran. Jerry was an attendant for the former AAA Ambulance Service and worked for over 20 years at the St. Johns Co-op later known as Countrymark. Although Jerry had several jobs throughout his working career he primarily was a farmer and loved working the land. On December 29, 1956 he married Helen Nemcik and she preceded him in death May 22, 2008. In September of 2010 he married Marge (Bissell) Hallenbeck and she survives him. Also surviving are his children, Doug (Michelle) of Lake, MI, Cathy (John) Kochensparger, Carolyn (Craig) Smith, Carlene (Todd) Deitrich and Connie (Bruce) DeLong all of St. Johns; eleven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren with one on the way; sister, Mary Jean (Rick) Kerr of St. Johns; three stepchildren, Leisa (Pete) Ratu, Steven (Teresa) Bissell and Kellie Seman; four step grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Jerry was also predeceased by a brother, Donald and twin grandsons, Brandon and Brennen DeLong. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM Monday, November 11, 2019 at St. Joseph Catholic Church 109 Linden, St. Johns with Rev. Fr. Douglas Osborn as Celebrant. Rite of Committal will follow at Mt. Rest Cemetery with military honors provided by the St. Johns Honor Guard. The family will receive relatives and friends 6-8 PM on Saturday, November 9 and 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Sunday November 10 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home, St. Johns. A rosary will be prayed at 7:30 PM on Sunday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Compassus Hospice 801 S. Waverly Rd. Lansing, MI 48917 or the Arthritis Foundation Michigan 888 W. Big Beaver Rd. Troy, MI 48084. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Compassus Hospice especially caregivers, Allie, Laura and Eric and to Dr. John MacDonald for his friendship and long time compassionate care of Jerry.
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