Jerry Edward Wilhelm, 78, of Lithia, FL, passed away peacefully with his wife beside him, on Friday, November 11, 2016, at Sun City Center Hospice House, in Sun City Center, FL. Born in Cleveland, OH, on July 12, 1938. Jerry was the son of Joseph E. and Rita Marie Wilhelm. He attended St Joseph High School in Cleveland, and John Carroll University in University Heights, OH. Jerry grew up in Cleveland and also served in the United States Army Reserves for six years. Jerry was owner and President of Avery Engineering Co., a commercial heating and air conditioning design-build contractor in Cleveland until he retired to Vero Beach, FL in 1999, where he met and married his beloved wife, Gay. Jerry’s first love was Model A Fords, the friends and everything surrounding them. Jerry was the consummate “car guy” for over 50 years and had 35 Model As at one time. Jerry was deeply involved with MAFCA (Model A Ford Club of America), happily serving as President for eight years and also as a National Director for many years. Jerry had friends all over the country and was respected and admired for his knowledge and willingness to share with anyone interested in Model As. Jerry loved traveling around the country to car meets, tours, and events. He was a well-respected master judge with AACA (Antique Auto Club of America) and judged at various car shows. After he met his wife Gay, who then became his first love, they made many trips together to Model A events, and wherever they were, they were always hand in hand. Jerry’s favorite trip was the annual Hershey Car Show and swap meet in Hershey, PA, and he made that at least 45 times. Jerry was unwavering in his loyalty to his wife, family, and his love of cars. He was gentle, constant, and true to all who knew him. He found the goodness in everything and everyone. Jerry was an extraordinary man and will be forever missed. In addition to his loving wife Gay (Jackson) Wilhelm, Jerry is survived by sisters Donette Wanen of Chagrin Falls, OH, and Lynette Padula of Cleveland. Jerry is also survived by his very-loved stepfamily, stepsons, Randy Ubillos and husband Rick Fath of San Franciso, CA, Dr. Scott and wife Dena Ubillos of Lithia, FL, stepdaughter Pam and husband Matt Rivet of N. Andover, MA, and stepson David Barker and partner Kevin Summers of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He is also survived by grandchildren, Emily, Hayes, and Nicholas Ubillos, Lexi, Christine, and Katie Rivet, and Megan Dove and Kristen Barker, nieces and nephews Craig and Todd Padula, Audrey Bessigner, Lisa Wagner, Kim and Shelby Wanen. A memorial Mass will be held on Friday, December 9, 2016, at St Stephen Catholic Church, 5049 Bell Shoals, Valrico, FL at 3 PM.
St Stephen Catholic Church
5039 Bell Shoals Road
Valrico, FL 33596Get Directions