Jerry Sheeder, local radio personality, prolific photographer, horse enthusiast, skilled dancer, teaser of grandchildren, tobacco aficionado and all around charmer died on September 6, 2013 at his home in Fort Dodge. The Mass of the Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday September 10, 2013 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The visitation will be held on Monday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a vigil service at 7:00 p.m. at Gunderson Funeral Home & Cremation Services.
Jerry was born April 12, 1946 in Guthrie Center, IA to Gerald and Clara (Sorenson) Sheeder. At 15 years old he talked his way into his first radio job at KDLS in Perry. His mother dutifully drove him 30 miles every Saturday afternoon so he could fulfill his dream of being a DJ. This was an unpaid position. After graduating from Guthrie Center High School in 1964, Jerry landed his first paid gig at KMA in Shenandoah. He was fired after a year. He then embarked on a whirlwind tour of Iowa radio stations, three weeks at KCHA in Charles City, three months at WDBQ in Dubuque and a successful stint at KWBG in Boone. In 1967 he came to Fort Dodge for the first time, as an afternoon DJ at KWMT. He subsequently became Program Director. He took off for a brief time to Janesville, WI to work for a newspaper printing company, but decided radio was better so he moved back to Fort Dodge and became News Director at where else, KWMT. A year later Jerry left Iowa for Pittsburgh, PA where he got a job as the afternoon drive news anchor at WTAE. He was also the halftime and postgame announcer for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was with the Steelers when they won Super Bowls in 1974 and 1975. In 1976 he went to work at WRC, and NBC affiliate in Washington DC. He also continued football broadcasting, doing live network reports at Washington Redskins games on the weekends.
While in Washington DC he met Marie Ernst, young Navy nurse who fell madly in love with him and agreed to move back to Iowa to raise a family. Jerry had fond memories of Fort Dodge and wanted to make it his home. Jerry was News Director at KWMT and various other local stations.
Jerry is survived by his wife Marie; four children, Todd (Teresa), Kathleen, Sara and Joseph as well as seven grandchildren, Lewis, Megan, Lauren, Anthony, Maleah, Thomas and Lily. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert and sister Joyce. His children wish to thank him for bestowing the gift of an excellent sense of humor to each of them.