Beverly man killed in I-94 pileup laid to rest
By Steve Metsch email@example.com January 30, 2014 6:32PM
Pallbearers carry the casket of Jerry H. Dalrymple who was killed in the Interstate 94 pileup in Indiana on Jan 23, at St. John the Divine Church, Thursday, January 30th, 2014, in Chicago. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 3, 2014 5:07PM
Jerry Dalrymple would’ve wondered what all the fuss was about, friends and relatives at his funeral said Thursday.
But the Beverly man deserved a good send-off, they said, especially after he spent his life making others so happy.
Dalrymple, 65, died Jan. 23 when his car was involved in a huge pileup on Interstate 94 in Indiana caused at least in part by a whiteout.
At least 46 vehicles were involved in the accident that stretched about a mile in the eastbound lanes. The massive crash left two others dead and 22 injured.
Rather than focus on Dalrymple’s untimely passing, eulogies heard Thursday at St. John the Divine Lutheran Church, 10511 S. Oakley Ave., Chicago, centered on his love of music, boating, family and life.
The Rev. Dr. David Schmitt, who officiated at the service, recalled how Dalrymple encouraged him to learn how to play the oboe shortly after they met.
“It’s not played very often, and it’s not played very well,” Schmitt said. “But it is played because of Jerry.”
Dalrymple “was an unassuming person” who “always found something good in someone,” Schmitt said.
He said he “could not process” that Dalrymple died in the crash, but he asked those in the church to not ask why God took him so suddenly.
“There is no answer. Let me ask you to ask God, ‘Why did God give us Jerry?’” Schmitt said, adding Dalrymple “gave us a symphony of thanksgiving and praise.”
Dalrymple was born in Chicago in 1948, graduated from Calumet High School and got his bachelor’s degree in education from Chicago State and a master’s in music from Roosevelt University.
He’d played music professionally since he was 16 and became band director at Luther North High School in 1971, the same year he married Mary Ann Scott. His love of music and family never waned.
Dalrymple’s big sister, Deanna Dalrymple, and his little brother, Dale, both told amusing stories about growing up with him.
“Oh, do I remember all the band practices in the basement. My bedroom was above the music room. I heard the drums and the horns, and I remember an accordion,” Deanna said. “His proudest moment was being band director at Luther North for over 10 years. We went to all the concerts, and they were fabulous.”
Deanna had folks chuckling when she recounted how he loved clean cars and always looked disapprovingly at her automotive habits, “because I always had the dirty car.”
A family friend read a statement from Jerry Dalrymple’s daughter, Tina, who reminisced about various cherished family memories.
Grandson Alex Kelly would’ve made his grandfather proud.
When Alex started speakng he cautioned that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to get through his eulogy, but he did, and he had people smiling when he spoke about playing at the lake, cheeseburger lunches, “root beer floats with too much ice cream” and long boat rides.
Nieces Rachel and Becca Dalrymple talked fondly of their uncle allowing them, when they were little, to use him “as a human jungle gym.”
Rachel never had a White Castle slider so Dalrymple drove to a local restaurant’s drive-through, taking the van and towing boat, to order one burger to see if she liked it.
“One White Castle. Who does that? I liked it, so he pulled the van and boat around the drive-through again and we ordered more,” she said. “That shows how considerate he was.”
Dalrymple’s brother, Dale, talked of playing in a band with his older brother “at a frat party at 23rd and Western, when I was in the seventh grade.”
Their love of music was a strong bond over the years, he said, and they often helped one another musically with bands and choirs.
“I know he is in a better place now. He went from a whiteout to glory with The Lord,” Dale said in closing.
Jan Mathews and Bea Lindemann, some of the many church members who attended the funeral service, wondered how Dalrymple, who played the organ for Sunday services, ever will be replaced.
“He did everything here,” Lindemann said. “He was always helping.”