Gerald “Jerry” Wayne Rounsborg, of Ogallala, Nebraska, passed away at home, with his beloved wife Barbara at his side, on October 27, 2019.
Jerry was born in Alliance, Nebraska, on April 19, 1937, to Donald Clinton Rounsborg and Florence Elizabeth Campbell Rounsborg. He was raised in the Sandhills of Nebraska, which he dearly loved. He worked cattle with his father and brother, which led to a lasting loathing of horses; blew up horse tanks and fence posts with firecrackers, to his father’s dismay; and shot chickens with a pellet gun, to his mother’s anger and his own dismay. As a Sandhills boy, Jerry sweated and swatted at bees while working on hay crews in the summer and played tenor sax and sang with a dance band that traveled between community halls on the weekends.
Jerry attended country school in Garden County until he was ready to attend high school, at which time his parents moved the family to Oshkosh, Nebraska. Jerry worked in the drugstore until he graduated and left for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln at age 16. He finished his undergraduate work at age 19, and was accepted for early admission at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. He graduated medical school at age 23, and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical association.
As most who knew him became aware, he met “Bobbie” on a blind date as an undergraduate, and he was never sure which of them was “blind.” They married in Plattsmouth, Nebraska in December 1956. By the time they finished medical school, Jerry and Barbara had three children in three years, Richard, Katherine and William.
In 1960, he joined a general practice medical group in Torrington, Wyoming, where he and Barbara raised their children. He spent eight years in the Army Reserve, finishing his service as a captain. Among the community service work he found most satisfying was traveling Wyoming with his good friend, an attorney, to visit high school assemblies in the 1960’s to talk to students about the medical and legal pitfalls of drug use. Jerry was a member of the Jaycees and named Physician of the Year by the Wyoming Medical Society.
In 1976, Jerry began a residency in diagnostic radiology at Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Barbara held things together at home in Wyoming for the next several years, allowing the children to finish high school in Torrington, with all family members becoming familiar with the trek between Torrington and Denver. In 1979, he joined his childhood neighbor, Warren Orr, M.D., and Gordon Sawyers, M.D. at Radiology Services, P.C. in North Platte, Nebraska. Jerry served as medical director and recruiting chair at Great Plains Medical Center, often working holidays because his children were grown and others had young families with whom he knew they wanted holiday time. He was active in the Heartland Singers, North Platte Ambassadors and enjoyed a role in a musical at the North Platte Community Playhouse and supporting Barbara when she served on the North Platte Community Playhouse board for many years. With Drs. Orr and Sawyer, Jerry built a radiology practice that eventually served 22 hospitals in greater central Nebraska, at times piloting a private plane to travel between communities he served. He valued his patients, fellow practitioners and staff at Goshen County Community Hospital, Denver Presbyterian Hospital and Great Plains.
Jerry retired from medicine in 2004 and actively pursued other interests, including a long association with a community bank holding company with banks in Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming.
Jerry and Barbara spent much of their free time on, in or around boats . . . those holes in the water into which one pours time, energy and money. They enjoyed cruising the Florida Keys and surrounding waters where Jerry piloted one of those holes in the water, frequently entertaining family or friends. He loved his time on the golf course and his golfing partners, as well as his hunting partners when the weather turned cold. After he retired, Jerry and Barbara split their time between Lake McConaughy and Horseshoe Bay, Texas, where they treasured their church family, neighbors and golfing friends. In Texas, Jerry made time to perform music he so loved as a member of the Horseshoe Bay Mens’ Choral Group, singing for veterans’ groups, nursing homes and at public events. Jerry made a mean Caesar Salad, very seldom overcooked a steak and almost never turned down ice cream.
In 2019, with a desire to be closer to family, Jerry and Barbara reluctantly bid their Texas home and friends goodbye and returned full-time to their home at Lake McConaughy. Jerry was a communicant at All Saints Episcopal Church in Torrington, Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte, Trinity Episcopal Church in Marble Falls, Texas, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ogallala.
Jerry’s greatest love was Barbara, his bride of nearly 63 years, and his greatest pride was his children and grandchildren and their spouses, and his great-grandchildren. Jerry’s deep and abiding faith in God and His goodness colored every aspect of Jerry’s life and he had a keen appreciation of how blessed he was each and every day. His love of life was apparent to all whom he met.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and his and Barbara’s much-loved son, Richard.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara; Richard’s wife, Frances and grandchildren Sophie Fox (Clayton), Maggie Rounsborg and Jack Rounsborg (Katie); Katherine Hall, J.D. (Tim) and grandchildren Bradley Hall, M.D. (Ashley) and Morgan Nolte, D.P.T. (Justin); and William Rounsborg, J.D., L.L.M. (Dana) and grandchildren Benjamin Rounsborg, J.D. (Felicia), Roxanne Rounsborg, Ashlyn Stephenson (Clinton), Zach Zarling (Amanda), and Jocelyn Zarling (Alex), plus a generous sprinkling of great-grandchildren and “nearly” children, along with his brother Harold Rounsborg, M.D. (Mary) and loved nieces and nephews, all of whom brought light to his life.
Memorials are suggested to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 318 East A. Street, Ogallala, NE 69153-2609, or Gracie’s Promise, PO Box 1366, Torrington, WY 82240, www.graciespromise.org.
A Private Family Service is scheduled earlier in the day.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, November 1, at the New Hope Church, 319 East O. Street, Ogallala with Pastor JA Welsh of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church officiating, followed by a gathering of family and friends at the Urban Farmer Kitchen & Cocktails, 203 Stagecoach Trail, Ogallala.
A Private Family Service is scheduled earlier in the day.
Online condolences may be left by signing the Guest Book at www.drauckerfuneralhome.com. The service will not be livestreamed.
Draucker Funeral Home of Ogallala, Nebraska has been entrusted with arrangements.
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