During most of the many wedding ceremonies Jerry has conducted during the past 30+ years, there is one passage from scripture that always is ‘just right’ for sharing with newlyweds:
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects,
Love never fails..”
–1 Cor. 13:4-8
“When I made my marriage vows to Ruth Ann Huntsinger on Dec. 30, 1960, there was only a simple understanding in my heart of what love actually meant. Now, after 52 years, my understanding of love is more grounded in practice and experience as we have lived life together.” —Jerry
Simply put, the Apostle Paul was right!
We’re still in love,
we’re still best friends,
we absolutely trust each other,
we enjoy each other’s company,
we savor the times of silence in life that we often enjoy together,
we mourn the death of our daughter, Lisa,
we pray for our son, Eric, who lives 3,000 miles east of us
but gives us great joy when he connects with us,
we celebrate together the many honorary sons and daughters
who have become part of our lives,
we openly share our Christian faith with each other and others,
we join our skills and passions in our common ministry,
we protect each other and neither of us is easily angered
we don’t keep record of wrongs nor do we find
delight when either of us has a bad day,
We protect each other, trust each other, and always
find hope in the lives we have yet to lead,
And we always rejoice when in big moments or tiny slices of life
we find honesty, truth and integrity in others.
Why? Because we know that our love for each will never fail
nor will our God’s love for us ever be in doubt.
I love you, Ruth, and I have since the day I first met you at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, 54 years ago.
Happy Anniversary, Ruth!
Macalester College and St. Paul, MN (1960-1969) – We were married Dec. 30, 1960 at First Presbyterian Church, Rochester, Minnesota, Ruth’s hometown. Both of us earned our bachelor’s degrees at Macalester. Jerry was in the U.S. Naval Reserve and went on active duty in 1962 to begin training as a Navy pilot, a long-hoped-for career that abruptly ended when Ruth became ill and he was forced to return to civilian life to care for her and their daughter, Lisa.
Jerry training to become a U.S. Navy pilot in 1964
At Macalester, we both sang in Little Choir and larger Concert Choir; Ruth played in Minneapolis and St. Paul Civic Orchestras; studied with Herman Straka, a Mac professor and long-time member of the Minnesota Orchestra; and with Leopold Sipe, founder and director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Jerry’s first post-college job was as a reporter for United Press International and later for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He also organized the Minnesota Para-Rescue Team, served as President of the Minnesota Search and Rescue Association. He also was appointed chaplain of the St. Paul Fire Department. Our children—Lisa, 1961, and Eric, 1965 – were born at Chas. T. Miller Hospital in St. Paul where Jerry had worked while attending Macalester. While working at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jerry also attended United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, in the mid 1960s.
Port Angeles, WA, (1969) – We moved to milder weather in Washington State in January when Jerry became Managing Editor of the Port Angeles Daily News. Ruth was concertmaster of the Port Angeles Symphony and Jerry had become a volunteer firefighter. Seattle, WA (1969-1984) – Half-way through the first year in WA, Jerry was hired as a reporter for The Seattle Times, so on July 4th, we moved to Seattle. Ruth began her legal career in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, moving to court administration from 1969-1987. She also served as concertmaster of the Seattle Concert Orchestra. We both sang in the University Congregational Church choir, and Jerry also sang in the Leonard Moore Chorale.
Jerry continued his community volunteer work by earning a police officer’s commission with the King County, WA, Police Department (later Sheriff’s Office) where he had assignments in patrol, search and rescue, and the SWAT team for more than 13 years. Somehow, he also found time by 1976 to earn a Ph.D. in Systems Science for his nationally recognized work in Emergency Medical Service Systems. He had served as the founding manager of the King County EMS office and was widely known for his work as a first-aid and CPR instructor.
Jerry’s unanswered call to ministry never left him after his years at United Theological Seminary. In 1982 he returned to a seminary campus in Vancouver,. B.C., Canada, to complete his theological education. He was ordained as a United Church of Christ minister at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle on March 18, 1984, after being called to serve as part-time pastor of Lakeview Congregational Church UCC, Lakewood, WA. a year earlier.
Oakland/Alameda/Berkeley. CA (1987-1989) – First Congregational Church UCC in Oakland, CA, called Jerry to be Senior Pastor in 1987 so we drove 802 miles south to move into a townhouse on Harbor Island in Alameda. Ruth began her work managing the Field Education office at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley and Jerry eventually enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, finishing that academic effort in 1996. Ruth managed intern activities for Pacific School of Religion in Berkley during their years in Oakland.
Sunny California is where Jerry’s love affair with ice hockey began. He skated in an adult league for more than 2 years and later, in Tacoma, founded the Executive Hockey Club skating regularly until his retirement as a hockey player several years after reaching his 65tdh birthday. In addition to preaching each Sunday, Jerry successfully auditioned for a baritone position in the Oakland Symphony Chorale and sang in performances of Mozart’s Requiem at Davies Hall with the San Francisco Symphony.
Tacoma/Lakewood, WA (1989-2006) – Ruth’s court skills quickly earned her a position with a Pierce County Superior Court Judge when we returned to our Lakewood home in 1989. She eventually moved from the courtroom to court administration where she remained until her retirement on April 1, 2006.
Ruth’s music activities have included service as the Lakewood Community Orchestra concert mistress for 15 years plus playing first violin with the Tacoma Noteables string quartet. She also is part of The Grace Notes (a trio of voice, guitar and violin) providing worship music at Episcopal churches in western Washington. She is active in the Episcopal Church’s Cursillo program and Kairos, a prison ministry program.
Ruth and the Tacoma Noteables practicing
Jerry was asked to “fill in” as a preacher at Anderson Island Community Church in 1991 and ended up staying for 14 years before he retired from the pulpit in 2005. During his career as an ordained minister, he has officiated at more than 4,000 weddings, many of them intimate ceremonies in their home and backyard.
Anderson Island Community Church
He was invited back to the King County Sheriff’s Office/Police Dept. to become a chaplain in 1991, serving as a volunteer for more than a decade. As part of that work, he joined the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC) and served as its webmaster. He received an award in 2010 for his webmaster work at the organization’s annual meeting in Sacramento, CA.
Jerry at work as a police chaplain in Federal Way, WA, in August 1993.
Both of us like to ‘complain’ about being so busy in our retirement – “We don’t know how we found time to go to work.” Ruth continues to keep herself busy making custom greeting cards for friends. She began sending out emails several years ago with thoughts for the day to friends, an effort which has evolved into an on-line blog. Now you can visit her work to find uplifting words from many writers and sources at Thoughts.
There are two special mentions about Ruth: Ruth was able to meet her birth mother, Lucile Hopkins, in the late 1980s at her home in Fernley, Nevada, when we were living in the San Francisco Bay area of northern California.
Ruth and her birth mother, Lucille Hopkins
Ruth’s adopted and beloved sister, Mary Jane Huntsinger Williams, died of cancer in 1993.
Our Children …
Eric Montgomery, was born Nov. 28, 1965, in St. Paul, MN. Now living in Lewes, DE, he owns and operates a small computer services firm, The Computer Guy, Inc..
- Eric Montgomery
Lisa Marie Montgomery Adamson died at her Seattle home on June 4, 2007. She was born Nov. 5, 1961, also in St. Paul.
Lisa Montgomery Adamson in 2006
For those of you who collect unusual details, you should know that one of the nurses at Miller Hospital who was part of the delivery team for both Eric and Lisa, was the same nurse who helped deliver Jerry when he was born in a farmhouse near Howard Lake, MN, in 1939. Jerry worked at the hospital as an orderly during his years at Macalester College. Ruth was surprised when the nurse who said after Eric’s birth that “he looks like his dad did when he was born” would know such a detail. Small world!