Jerry L.  Selover
Jerry L. Selover

April 5, 1934 - November 22, 2020
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Jerry L. Selover, 86, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, November 22, 2020 due to complications of Covid-19, and he's up there telling jokes.

A drive through visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 28 at Iles Grandview Park Funeral Home. One carload of friends at a time will be admitted to the funeral home while other's wait outside in their cars.

Funeral services will be Noon Monday, November 30 at Fellowship Baptist Church,of which he was a long-time member. Masks and safe distancing will be required. The service will be live-streamed from this site starting at 11:45 a.m. (link to this livestream can be found here Jerry Selover Service Livestream - YouTube or at the bottom of this page)  Monday. Burial will be 2 p.m. Monday at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.

Jerry was born in Des Moines on April 5, 1934 to Forrest Lynn and Madelyn Maude (Scott) Selover. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Jerry returned to complete his high school education at Des Moines Technical School. He owned and operated Des Moines Door Company for over 20 years and later worked as Senior Maintenance Carpenter for the City of Des Moines Park Department, retiring in 1999.

Jerry was an accomplished woodworker and turner and member of Des Moines Woodworkers and Turners Club. He was committee chair for Boy Scout Troup 99. He traveled to Philmont Scout Camp twice, once as part of the wood badge staff. He volunteered at Camp Mitigwa as an ORF, was a vigil honor member and was awarded the Silver Beaver Award.

Jerry will be remembered for his good natured, ornery wit. He had a heart for encouraging young people to better themselves and helping anyone in need.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 66 years, Evelyn; three children, Dr. Doug (Jenny) Selover, Linda (Steve) Gauldin and Erlene (Richard) Bennett; twelve grandchildren; seven great grandchildren, and several of each that Jerry adopted. He was preceded in death by his parents; and two siblings, Larry and Peggy.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Fellowship Baptist Church.


Jerry L. Selover by Mandi Alexander (granddaughter)

Let me tell you about a man who worked just as hard as he played. A man who knew an honest days work and how to have a good time. A man who always made light of any situation, and always looked on the bright side. A man who his family describes as the greatest man they have ever known.

Jerry has worked hard all his life. As a young man Jerry worked and lived on a chicken farm. Part of his job was to help his dad chop off the chicken's heads and feet, and he LOVED IT! He and his dad would sing as they worked, they would sing cowboy songs, Home Home on the Ranges was a favorite and was a good fit for their daily tasks. Not only did Jerry love his job, and spending the time with his father working the day way, Jerry loved fried chicken. He could eat it every day (and practically did). One of his most memorable jobs was working at CJ Pies. As an employee he was allowed to eat as much pie as he wanted, and what kind of person would turn down unlimited free pie? He was told he was the only employee in history to eat the same amount of pie on their last day as they had their first day.

Although he ate a lot of chicken, he wasn’t one. He enlisted into the US Navy when he was 17 years old. Now to join the Navy you had to weigh at least 100lbs, which Jerry did not. So, the morning of weigh in what did he do? He ate 6lbs of bananas, yes, 6 POUNDS of bananas! Once enlisted he was still the smallest guy there, so when they were marching he would carry the flag. He worked in the kitchen in basic training. He was too small to pour the milk jugs so they had him “flick” the butter onto the mens plates as they walked by. Once on the ship he worked in the boiler room. Now, we all know Jerry, ornery, well he got bored in that boiler room one night and decided he would weld the floor plates together....Unfortunately, those plates need to be lifted to access mechanics below. He spent the next several weeks undoing his handy work. Jerry described his time in the Navy as his 18 month Mediterranean Cruise. He and his Navy buddies had a blast! They tasted pizza for the first time in italy, they toured whisky factories, hey danced, they laughed, they played pranks on each other. They went to Italy, France, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, just to name a few. Then they came home to their families. Jerry always said he was so lucky to be where he was and when he was, while serving. He was thankful for his safety and appreciated and loved his brothers who where out there in other parts of the world having a different type of military experience.

The war ended soon and Jerry headed home to his beautiful fiancé Evelyn. They married the following October. Their first year of marriage Evelyn worked days at a bank and Jerry worked nights at Eagle Iron works. They didn’t see each other as often as they would have liked working different times, but they knew their love would help them get to where they were headed.

Though they worked different shifts, they had great times together as well as with their friends. Jerry and his best friend Bud decided they would go out and buy matching jackets and surprise Evelyn. They were SO excited about their purchases they went to the bank where she worked to show her how great they looked. She walks into the lobby and there is Jerry and Bud, in the ugliest jackets you have ever seen! The jackets were meant for ladies, they were mostly black, but at the top and across the back shoulders was bright pink and black squares. They were so proud of their jackets they wore them everywhere! (Probably just to annoy Evelyn). Later that summer Jerry and Bud were out driving around, looking for something to do. They happened across a guy who was selling a horse saddle. They spent hours and hours trying to talk the guy down on his price. Finally, they wore him down and he agreed to their price, but neither of them had a horse, so they passed and went home empty handed. One night while hanging out with Bud, Jerry learned Bud had a Samurai Sword. As a joke, Jerry pulls the sword out of its case and yells “Unguard”, and that was the first of 3 times he cut off his finger.

The first few years of marriage Jerry and Evelyn worked, and Jerry went back to school to get his degree, so that they could start a family. They were told they may not be able to have children, and if they do become pregnant, they may not be able to carry the baby to term. But their love and faith in God was stronger than those fears. They decided to try for a baby. When they found out they were pregnant with Doug they were overjoyed. They anxiously waited for his arrival, 3 weeks past the due date to be exact.

Shortly after Doug was born they built the home that they shared for the next 60+ years. After the home was built came Linda, followed by Erlene. They were a family, the type of family the rest of the world wants. Jerry loved Evelyn, he showed affection and love and showed his children how to love and honor a spouse. Their lives may not have been perfect, Jerry and Evelyn bicker with the best of them. But they truly loved each other.

Jerry was very involved in Scouts, he was a committee chair for Boy Scout Troup 99. He spent countless hours teaching how to tie ropes, build shelters, cooking over the fire, wood working and any other survivor skills they boys needed to know. He volunteered at Camp Mitigwa as an ORF and was even awarded the Silver Beaver Award.

Jerry loved all kids, in addition to Boy Scouts, he volunteered in the nursery at church and spent many years assisting with vacation bible school. But Jerrys favorite thing in the world was being a grandpa. He loved each grandchild and great grandchild with all his heart. He loved to show off photos of them and brag about how he has the most beautiful grandkids in the world and about their accomplishments. He was an open book when it came to the love of his grandkids.

Jerry was not known for being swift on his feet. He very well may have been the clumsiest person you have ever met. However, his hands were another story. Jerry was a skilled carpenter and craftsman. He was a longtime member of the Des Moines Woodworkers and Turners club, and has had his work featured in woodturning magazine. One of his favorite things to do was to Turn and gift pens. He would loose track of time making beautiful pen, after beautiful pen. He would give these as gifts to his loved ones and friends. All the kids at church looked forward to their graduation, for the past 25+ years, Jerry gives each graduate a pen. These pens are individual, no two pens are exactly the same. All the graduates would stand around admiring each others pens, oohing and awing over the beauty and perfection of each one.

Jerry had the worlds greatest shop. He would spend all day in there working on projects, and spending time chatting with friends. He loved to show off what he was making. But he really loved teaching his grandkids how to use the tools and allowing them to make anything they wanted. If he was teaching you to make a pen, he triple checked the work and showed you how to make it perfect, so you would know for next time.

In addition to his famous pens, he would build gorgeous gun cases, shelves, baby cradles, candle holders, bowls, jewelry boxes, and just about anything you could make out of wood. All one of a kind, all beautiful and perfect. Each Christmas his family would wait with anticipation, to see what special gift he had spent the year making for each.

Jerry will be remembered for not only his amazing love and dedication to his family and friends, but also for his ornery whit. He would ask everyone he saw if he could give them a kiss, a lot of people were hesitant, but those who said yes were rewarded with a Hersey Kiss from his pocket. He loved to poke fun, especially at himself. He would accidentally wear two different shoes to church, and then hurry to make sure all of his friends knew about it. Jerry loved a good laugh, and although he typically poked fun at himself no one was really safe, especially John Johnson. If he knew you were easily embarrassed you were free game. He loved to play match maker with the young adults at church. If he thought a couple may be interested in each other, he would make sure to let them know he knew, and if they should go for it or not.

There are no words to describe how much Jerrys family will miss him. He was one of a kind, if there were more Jerrys in the world, this world would be a much better place.





Drive Through Visitation
Grandview Park Funeral Home
3211 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50317
Saturday, November 28, 2020
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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Fellowship Baptist Church
1503 SE 6th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315
Monday, November 30, 2020
12:00 PM
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Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA US 50003
Monday, November 30, 2020
2:00 PM
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Fellowship Baptist Church
1503 SE 6th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315