Gerald "Jerry" James Minkkinen died peacefully in his home in Hoffman Estates, IL, due to complications from cancer. He was 74. Jerry was born October 27, 1943 in Cloquet MN to his parents Sulo and Frances Minkkinen. He graduated from Cloquet high school in 1961. He married Jane Emily Pollak after graduation. Jerry worked at the Highway Dept. in Duluth. His marriage to Jane ended in divorce in 1975. He moved to Chicago, where he later married DeAnne Valentine and worked as Executive Director of the Chicago Newspaper Guild (negotiator for the Chicago Sun-Times) from 1976 until his retirement in 2008.
Jerry was passionate, honest and fierce when it came to his job. He truly loved helping people and wanted to make a difference, he was a mentor to many. He loved fishing, golfing, sports, and especially family.
Jerry is survived by his children, Roberta (Mark) Follett, Sandra (Jeff) Minkkinen, David (KristyAnne) Minkkinen, Dale (Wylma) Minkkinen, Sheryl (Greg) Washburn, and Kim (Chris) Van Stone; brothers, Jim (Lona) Minkkinen, Brad (Julie) Minkkinen, and Bruce (Nancy) Minkkinen; a sister, Andrea Minkkinen; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, DeAnne Valentine; his former wife, Jane Minkkinen; and his parents. Sulo and Frances Minkkinen.
There will be memorial services held Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Ahlgrim & Son Funeral Home, 330 West Golf Rd., Schaumburg IL. There will also be services held in Cloquet, MN on Friday, April 27, 2018 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Nelson Funeral Care, 1004 Cloquet Ave. Cloquet, MN. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Jerry's life. To leave an online condolence, visit the guest book at www.nelsonfuneralcare.net.