Gerald “Jerry” Wayne Fansler was born in Richmond, VA on October 10th, 1946, to his parents Robert Van Buren, Jr., and Madeline (Mayo) Fansler. He was the eldest of 3 children and raised in Hampton, VA, just a few blocks walk from Buckroe Beach on the Chesapeake Bay, where he spent much of his youth. When he wasn’t raising cain on the sand, he played football for Hampton High School, garnered the nickname “Falstaff” for his fittingly witty portrayal of Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff character, and graduated in 1965. Jerry enlisted in the United States Air Force on November 29th, 1965. His service in the Air Force took him across the southern U.S., to Thailand during the Vietnam War, and ultimately a position involving the highest level security clearance at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE. It was in Omaha that Jerry met Linda Zangerle at Gino’s on December 7th, 1968; the two were married the following year on September 27th, 1969 at St.Pius X Catholic Church in Omaha, NE. Jerry and Linda welcomed their first daughter, Denise, on October 5th, 1970. In December of 1971, he graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, with a Bachelor of Science in General Studies, an accomplishment he was immensely proud of. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force on Denise’s birthday in 1973 and the family of 3 bought a house in what was then “west” Omaha where they later welcomed another daughter, Susan “Lynette,” on July 9th, 1975.
Jerry started his post-Air Force career as an insurance salesman, where his penchant for geography and exploration was well served. He waved goodbye to all the travel in favor of something that would keep him close to home and ensure he never missed anything of his kids’, dinner for four at the kitchen table, bowling league, or games/card nights with neighbors, family, and friends. Somewhere near the top of his list of accomplishments, was his “Master Angler” certification which was bestowed upon him after a qualifying largemouth bass catch. He was an avid fisherman and spent many a weekend with his best friend, chasing his next big catch; cigar nestled in his cheek. Jerry loved to read and all things sports, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Redskins, Oklahoma Sooners, and Manchester United; most recently, his days seemed dictated by the English Premier League broadcast schedule, trips to the library, or keeping up with the comings and goings of his children and grandkids.
Survived by wife, Linda; daughters, Denise L. Fansler and Susan Lynette (Jason) Sojka; grandchildren, Sutton, Marlowe and Dax Sojka; sister, Wanda Fansler; sisters-in-law, Patricia Martin and Lori Zangerle. Preceded in death by parents, Robert, Jr. and Madeline Fansler and brother, Robert “Van” Fansler, III.
Private inurnment Friday, January 27th at Omaha National Cemetery; memorial gathering 3-4:30pm at John A. Gentleman, followed by a reception at The Rusty Nail.