RACHEL MINDRUP
Jerry Woodworking Outside
2018
Oil on Canvas
30" x 24"

Everyone knows that joining the military will change their life. Jerry Willman did not expect the change to be like this, though. He was attempting to join the Navy and went to the MEPS center. He had two small spots on his left wrist that concerned the doctors. However, they said that if he had them removed, he would be able to try to go through again. With that in mind, he had them removed and tried again. This time, Jerry would hear the news that would forever change his life.

In October 1983, Jerry met a doctor who told him his life would consist of going home and waiting to die. All of the information then was associated with Joseph Merrick, “The Elephant Man”. Since he was unable to join the Navy, and was “sentenced to die”, he chose to return to school and work toward a degree. Jerry obtained his AA and BA in Technical Theatre from Rogers State College. He worked for a short time at Discoveryland in Oklahoma doing the play “Oklahoma!" Trying his hand at counter sales, he moved to Texas. He later worked managing and doing maintenance for a small motel. Choosing to take some time off from the motel, he traveled on a two man construction crew across seven states for about a year. Jerry later returned to Oklahoma, where he is now living and taking care of the house he grew up in. Around, the house, he tinkers with small projects using wood and other materials.

NF has inspired Jerry to do many things. In Jerry's words "I’m always advocating and iNForming people about Neurofibromatosis. I did my first NF Walk in 2010 and have continued to do so since then. I have also began running in the Cupid’s Undie Run in multiple states". Jerry was the top fundraiser for the Cupid's Undie Run in 2017. Sadly, Jerry passed away suddenly and unexpectedly later that year. His legacy will live on through all who knew him.
In Memoriam
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