Jan. 14, 1942 - Oct. 7, 2011
Jerry Lee Bullock, of West Linn, Ore., and formerly of Milton-Freewater, passed away Oct. 7, 2011, at his home at the age of 69 years. Graveside services will be Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at 11 a.m., at the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. Ritualistic services conducted by BPOE #2146. Reception to follow at the M-F Elks Lodge. Memorial contributions may be made to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, 3315 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN 37408-3052 or through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home. A celebration of life service will be held at Rolling Hills Community Church, 3350 S.W. Borland Road, in Tualatin, Ore., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at 11 a.m. Special room rates at Crown Plaza Hotel, Lake Oswego, Ore. Call direct 503-624-8400 and ask for the "Bullock Block." Jerry was born in Walla Walla, on Jan. 14, 1942.
He grew up in Milton-Freewater and graduated from McLoughlin Union High School in June 1960. On Sept. 3, 1968, he married Georgia "Jo" Lee Wilding, who brought along her five children: Jim age 16, twins Dawn and Dana age 12, Dean age 11 and Lori age 7. Jerry worked for Key Brothers Ranches, hauling peas and wheat. He moved on to work for Pendleton Frozen Foods, hauling throughout the United States. He then worked for Dee Thomason Ford in Lake Oswego, Ore., and drove a tow truck part-time for Bill Nelson. Eventually, Jerry bought Nelson Towing and changed the name to Bullock Towing. He sold his company in 1985 and moved on to building tow trucks at Jerry Bullock Enterprises, Inc. in Sherwood, Ore. Jerry was instrumental in forming the Independent Towing Operators of Oregon, which eventually merged with the Northwest Towing Association and later became the Oregon Tow Truck Association. He was one of 26 founding members of the Towing Recovery Association of America, which was formed in August of 1979, in Kansas City, Mo. Jerry was also a founding member of the Friends of Towing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the towing industry. With Jerry's undying dedication and perseverance, the Friends of Towing eventually became known as the International Towing Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. His passion was to improve the image of the towing industry throughout the world and to educate towers as well as the public about the towing industry. He continuously dedicated time, money and expertise to this passion. For years, he dedicated countless hours to helping create a solid place for a Tow Truck Museum that would also serve as an educational facility for current trainings and a place to honor both fallen and active towers. It all started with a large trailer that was hauled all over the United States to various tow shows. Jerry made sure the trailer made it to each and every show. Eventually, they outgrew the trailer and found a building at 4th and Broad Street in Chatanooga, Tenn. (the birthplace of the towing industry). However, they quickly outgrew that building and Jerry was determined to help find a larger building in the same area; with much dedication and perseverance of Jerry and other men and women like him, they were able to find a much larger building further south on Broad Street. Jerry's dream was realized with this new home, referred to as the ITRHFM. This building is now a home for everyone to see and learn about the towing industry.
Jerry's never-ending dedication to this organization earned him the name, "Mr. Museum" across the country. He held great pride in seeing his dream come to life in something that is now inspirational to so many across the world.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Georgia "Jo" Bullock; his children, Jim (Debbie), Dawn (Rick), Dana, Dean (Debbie), and Lori; his nephews, Lance Bullock and L.G. Bullock (their children Ryan, Hannah, and Gracie); his grandchildren, Shelley, Cassandra, Matt, Robin, Nicolas, Shaylah and Samuel; his great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Brooklyn, Maggie, Camryn, and Elijah; and his beloved companion dog, Bandit. He was preceded in death by his mother, Theda L. Kerr Bullock; his father, Wallace F. Bullock; and his brother, Daniel Wallace Bullock.
We wish to thank KP Hospice for all its strength and support that it has given to our dad and us (his family) during our time of need, especially Robert Yuille and Meredith Seiser.