Gerald “Jerry” Baltzer Borglum, 87, of Elkhart, died on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at Goshen General Hospital. He was a devoted husband and a beloved father and grandfather.
Jerry was born June 30, 1933, in Penn Yan, NY, to the late Tenus and Gerda (Jensen) Borglum. Dad was the 5th child and 4th son of seven children – six boys and one girl. In chronological order, they are: Knud, Greger, Ardis, Carsten, Gerald, Dana, and Bartel. The men were referred to as “The Brothers” in the family, a term of pride and endearment. Ardis was the little mother, the worrier, who kept the brothers in line and pretended to be astonished at their outrageous antics and teasing. They were devoted to each other and deeply loyal, as they were to their parents. It is a legacy that they have passed on to their numerous children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The name “Borglum” means something to all of us who bear it, and to those who know a Borglum. “We are descended from King Harald Bluetooth, of Denmark”, Dad would tell us. We are justifiably proud of our name and rich Danish heritage and happy to be vocal about it.
At 16, Dad left Penn Yan to attend Dana College, in Blair, Nebraska, to study chemistry. After graduation, he served in the Army in Germany for two years, then taught high school level science and math, upon returning to the U.S. Jerry left teaching to pursue a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Nebraska, and he was hired by Miles Laboratories, in Elkhart, IN, where he worked for 26 years. He became Sr. Research Biochemist, filing a number of patents and developing experiments to test enzymes. Jerry then went to work for Agdia Inc., creating and implementing a computer program to automate and more efficiently process orders, increasing productivity, and simplifying their inventory accounting and improving accuracy. A valued employee, Jerry made lifelong friendships at Agdia, and attended their yearly holiday party for years after he retired.
Jerry was a member of the local chapter of the American Chemical Society and enjoyed attending his computer club meetings after retirement. He and Angela were very active members of Augustana Lutheran Church. Dad was a singer and a pianist, a lover of classical music. He was in the Dana College Glee Club and would fill-in as organist from time to time at Augustana.
While at Dana College, Jerry met Angela Marie Sorensen. Dad would tell the story of how he saw a tall, beautiful redhead across the room and decided he would marry her. Angela became his wife on June 2, 1954, in Ruskin, NE.
Angela died at 79, on September 25, 2012, after a long, slow decline. She and Dad were married for 58 years. In a nursing facility the last four years of her life, Dad went to see her every single day until she died. When asked about his devotion, he said, “that’s what you do”. Also preceding Jerry in death are four of the six Brothers - Knud, Greger, Carsten, and Barty - and their loving “little mother”, Ardis. Dana, who still lives in Penn Yan, NY, is now the last surviving Brother. Dana, and his wife, Sylvia, will be doubly cherished by The Borglum Clan.
Jerry is survived by his four adult children: three daughters, Sherry (Mike Settles) Borglum of Elkhart; Jean (Rick Streebel) Borglum of Goshen; Sandy Borglum of Chicago; and one son, Eric (Ann Harding) Borglum of Cincinnati. Jerry has two grandchildren, twins Bryce and Kristina Borglum, children of Eric and Ann.
This is our final opportunity to celebrate both our parents, and we gratefully thank them for being such good, kind, compassionate people, and for being the most wonderful parents we could have ever wished for. We know how lucky we are. They were generous to a fault, loved us unconditionally, supported us in all our endeavors. They attended our plays, accompanied us at our high school music competitions, and provided religious and spiritual example. They were never judgmental and encouraged us to study our interests. We laughed daily, we sometimes cried, we never once doubted we were loved. They taught us to respect people, to love animals (especially cats), and to take care of each other and those around us, including the cats. They lived their life lessons in front of us, as an example to us, rather than through instruction. As Dad said once, and we repeated incessantly and still do: “Eat the meat; that’s what you paid for.” Words cannot describe the sizeable hole Jerry and Angela leave in our hearts and our lives. We will miss them every single day forever.
Visitation for Jerry will be held on Tuesday, March 23, from 4-6 p.m., at the Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home, and the memorial service will be held there at 6 p.m. Dad’s son-in-law, Parson Mike Settles, will officiate. Cremation has taken place, and burial will be held the next day in Frame Cemetery (60411 Co Rd 113, Elkhart, IN 46517), on Wednesday, March 24, at 1 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Dana College Foundation Legacy Scholarships:
Dana College Foundation
Attn: Bob Coffey, President
P.O. Box 392
Blair, NE 68008
Checks should be made out to the Foundation. Please enclose a note to indicate that they be designated to the scholarship fund.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald Baltzer Borglum, please visit our floral store.
Dana College Foundation
P.O. Box 392, Blair NE 68008