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Home Obituaries Richard Adolph "Jerry" Jurewicz
Richard Adolph "Jerry" Jurewicz

Thousand Oaks, CA

Richard Adolph Jurewicz (known to friends and family as Jerry) of Thousand Oaks passed away on February 19, 2019 at the age of 93. Jerry passed in his sleep with all his faculties intact, having visited with his children, grandchildren and great-grandson in the days leading up to his death.

Born July 31, 1925, in Brooklyn, N.Y, Jerry was orphaned at 14. Despite his hardships, he went to a trade school and studied aircraft mechanics. This enabled him to catch on as a mechanic for American Airlines at age 17. One year later he was drafted into the Army Infantry. There was a need for experienced airline workers in a new division called the Air Transport Command. After being accepted and trained, Jerry was to fly to Prestwick, Scotland. He missed his flight. That plane crashed with no survivors. As WWII began to dwindle down, he served in France and Austria. After the war, he returned to New York. During a pilot shortage, American Airlines mechanics were given an opportunity to become Flight Engineers. Jerry enrolled and qualified in the DC-6 and DC-7. He married Marion Ortowski and moved to his first home in Long Island. Marion and Jerry had 5 children. Due to health issues of the children, the family in 1967 moved to Thousand Oaks, where he lived until death.

Music was huge in his life. Growing up, Jerry's parents arranged piano lessons for his sister. But there was not enough money for him to get lessons too. So he learned piano watching his sister's lessons. He taught himself the rest. His musical ear was magnificent. If one could hum a tune, Jerry could play it. He bought a Yamaha baby grand and played for relaxation and entertainment. He played at American Airlines retirement parties every year and at other events. Jerry also composed and recorded his own music.

Jerry flew the B-707 for most of his career. When American retired it, he qualified on the DC-10. After he retired in 1988, Jerry and Marion bought a motor home and joined the Conejo, Oxnard and Ventura Rock and Gem Clubs. They made many trips to the desert with friends and family. There also were trips to Brazil and Australia in search of specimens. These endeavors led to learning the jewelry trade specializing in silver jewelry and semi-precious stones. They displayed their jewelry at the Ventura County Fair for many years.

Jerry is survived by daughter Diane and husband Steve Henson of Thousand Oaks; son Tom Jurewicz and wife Nedra of Fort Mill, S.C.; son Kenneth Jurewicz of Thousand Oaks; and daughter Mary-Ann Sands and husband Tommy of Carbondale, Colo.; grandchildren Sheila and Angela Henson of Portland, Ore.; Danny Henson of Thousand Oaks; Gina Habib and husband Richie of Thousand Oaks; Peter and Katie Jurewicz of Clemson, S.C., and Tina Jurewicz of Fort Mill, S.C; and great grandchildren Mariah Jurewicz of Fort Mill, S.C., and Luke Habib of Thousand Oaks. He is also survived by his Brazilian families, a relationship begun in the 1970s when the Jurewicz family took in several foreign exchange students: Beba and Vania Wanderley, Vitor and Anna Wanderley, Mauricio and Inez Wanderley. Monica Wanderley, and Maria Angela and Zu Guimaraes and their extended families. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion, and son Richard.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at Griffin Family Funeral Chapels, 101 E. Wilbur Rd., Thousand Oaks. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Cure Parkinson's Trust

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