Gerard “Jerry” Bax, 67, of Overland Park, Kansas passed away Tuesday evening, April 11th, 2023, in his beautiful backyard garden. He was born January 21st, 1956, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Walter J. and Laurentia M. Bax. He married Gail Kinker on June 7th, 1980. They were privileged to share nearly 43 years together.
Jerry was the youngest of four children, with three sisters. As a boy he enjoyed fishing with his father and developed a love of the outdoors which remained with him for the rest of his life. Growing up in Florissant, Missouri, he was surrounded by a large extended family, and was well loved by family and friends alike for his kindhearted, rambunctious, and generous spirit. In high school Jerry was a talented baseball player, with standout athleticism as an outfielder and a .363 batting average in his senior year. Tragically, in 1973 when Jerry was 17, his father passed away. Jerry dedicated himself to the care of his mother and sisters, showing even in his youth a commitment to helping others and giving love through service. Jerry was tried again only five years later when his mother fell terminally ill, and he again rose to the challenge, loving and leading his family through the hardest of times.
After high school Jerry attended vocational school and developed skills as a handyman which he leveraged and expanded substantially throughout his life. He also met his future wife Gail in 1975 at Venture Department Store where they both worked. After a single date, the two quickly became inseparable. When Gail moved to the University of Missouri, Jerry joined her, later graduating with a BSBA Accounting degree. After university graduation the couple married in 1980 and later moved from Florissant to Overland Park, Kansas where Jerry began a 32-year career as a financial management professional and CFO.
Between 1990 and 1993, Jerry and Gail welcomed two daughters into their family: Stephanie and Erin. Jerry was a loving and doting father, who would do anything to protect and care for his girls. Jerry and Gail were an incredible team and worked tirelessly together to educate and support their daughters, lending their strength to each other in equal partnership. Stephanie and Erin both grew into incredible, capable women in their parents’ care, with both daughters earning advanced degrees in medicine. Stephanie and Erin are Jerry’s pride and joy.
Jerry was known for his sense of humor, and his love of wordplay. He was respected as a man of principle, who lived honestly and without pretense. He was a kind and nurturing spirit. He will be remembered as a dedicated husband, an attentive father, a kind friend, a skilled gardener, a knowledgeable craftsman, and a lover of all animals.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife and best friend Gail, daughter Stephanie Bax, daughter Erin Bax-Melgren and son-in-law Spencer Melgren, sisters Dolores (John) Murphy, Jackie (Dennis) Dowdall, and Mary (Jim) Simpson, and by many other friends, family and loved-ones who treasure his memory.
A private visitation is scheduled for Saturday, April 15th.