As he would have said it, and what he would want you all to know, “Great news! Jerry Schindler lived an amazing life spanning more than 74 years.” Jerry wouldn’t want you to be sad that his fairytale life unexpectedly ended at his home in Oxford, Ohio on December 10th, 2022. He’d tell you that the only people allowed to be sad are the banana suppliers as the banana industry in Southwest Ohio will likely collapse without the support of Jerry’s daily banana purchase from the local Kroger. Rather than be sad, Jerry would politely insist that you instead take a moment to eat a snack, do some light exercise, and reflect upon how lucky he was.
But the truth is, WE were the lucky ones. Have you ever been in the presence of someone TRULY positive? We’re not talking a run-of-the-mill positive attitude; we’re talking about the epitome of a jocund human.
If you have to think about it, then the answer is no. For those of us fortunate enough to know Jerry, we had the luxury of being in the presence of the embodiment of optimism. He made the most of every day, every experience, and every meal. This contagious, infectious energy no doubt emerged early in Jerry’s life, likely dating back to July 19, 1948 when Gerald Schindler made his entrance into this world.
Jerry was born in Detroit, Michigan to Jean (Custer) and Harold Schindler. He grew up in Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics education. He taught math for many years in Trenton, Ohio. His love of math and for his students made him a popular teacher. But he would often say the very best thing about taking the job at Edgewood High School was that it was there that he met his future wife, Deborah Howard. They were married on August 8, 1981.
Jerry was a lifelong devotee to personal fitness. While at Edgewood, Jerry recognized the need for a gym in the Trenton community, so he opened one which he operated for many years. After it closed, he continued his own fitness regime, setting up a small gym in his basement and exercising and weightlifting at various other gyms where he was always willing to provide advice and encouragement to others working out.
Jerry lived his life with the vigor, vitality, and energy of a much younger man. He had friends of all ages who he liked to bring together to share in his many activities including gardening, skiing, ice skating, and construction/remodeling. Whatever he did, he did with enthusiasm and great skill. If there is something Jerry was bad at, it was relaxing, especially in recent years. Along with Deb, he took up tap dancing as a member of the Golden Tappers Dance Troupe often making sure he somehow snuck into the front row during performances. He and Deb also enjoyed traveling and in the past several years, pursued camping adventures in their tiny Scamp camper.
Jerry loved being an uncle to nieces Rebecca (Lee) McCarren, Megan (Todd) Waugh, niece and goddaughter Katie (Garrett) Steiner, nephew Bradley Howard (Anca Stoicea), nephew Matt (Beth) Schindler, nephew Brandon Schindler, niece Jessica (Brian) Bacon, nephew Jason Schindler, niece Stephanie Schindler, nephew Ryan Schindler, niece Mia Avery and nephew Eric Staley and wonderful great-nephews Nathan Howard, Nathan, Asher, Gaven, Cody, and Aiden and wonderful great-nieces Lauren, Audrey, Larkin, Charlotte, Olivia, Kayla, and Lily. Jerry always found the perfect present for birthdays and knew just the right thing to say when one of them needed encouragement or advice.
Jerry was also a longtime member of Morning Sun Presbyterian Church and was active in the Oxford community serving on committees in the City of Oxford and at Miami University. He is survived by his brothers Donald Schindler and Randall (Kathy) Schindler, his sisters-in-law Angela Howard and Berta Howard, his brothers-in-law Philip Howard and David (Leanne) Woods and his beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Deb, his wife of 39 years, his parents, his sister-in-law Elizabeth Howard and his brother-in-law Doug Ison. Jerry has left a huge hole in our lives but will always have a place in our hearts.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Gerald James 'Jerry' Schindler in Oxford, OH at the Cobblestone Community Church on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 11:00am. All Family and Friends are welcome to attend.