The front door opens, and Jerry stands patiently waiting for a hug. “Did you know research shows it takes a full nine seconds of hugging before the endorphins reach our brains? So come here and give me a nine second hug!!” and then a laugh as he counted out one Mississippi…two Mississippi…. While visiting Colombia, South America, a heavenly door opened wide, and along with big smiles and warm laughter, Jerry James “JJ” Javenkoski found blissful comfort in the infinitely long hug of Our Lord on July 6, 2022.
Jerry was born on September 17, 1969, in Appleton Wisconsin. He was the second son of Joseph James and Ann Marie (Bronk) Javenkoski and was full of gusto and curiosity from a young age, always on the move and taking in all life had to offer. He is survived by his daughter Macquel Brown; son Brandon and his wife Oli; mother Ann; sister Lori Holman and her husband Dirk and children Dirk Jr, Isaac, and Blake and his wife Paige; and brother Bob and his wife Lora and daughter Gabrielle. Jerry’s younger brother John preceded him in death in 2020, and Jerry lovingly fulfilled his promise of being a supportive friend and uncle to John’s widow Lea and daughter Grace, whom he affectionately called his “bestie”. Jerry had a special bond with his father Joe who preceded him in death in 2014, and he was a constant loving support to his mother, helping her in any way he could and sharing many Sunday dinners together. Jerry maintained a close friendship with his former wife Claudia (Restrepo) Javenkoski and her family. Our family extends a special thank you to Claudia for her tireless efforts to navigate the Colombian system and help us return Jerry’s remains to the US. In addition to family listed above, Jerry is survived by loving uncles, aunts, cousins, and close friends.
Upon graduating from Appleton High School West in 1988, Jerry enlisted in the US Navy. Following his Navy service, he earned degrees in Electrical and Electromechanical Engineering Technologies, and worked for Kimberly Clark as an Electrical Engineering Technician. Jerry was also an entrepreneur, establishing and running JJ’s High-Tech Computers following his early retirement from KC. He was fluent in Spanish and particularly enjoyed traveling to Colombia and Argentina where he made treasured, lifelong friendships.
Jerry continued to pursue his passion for country, fellow vets, and helping others through volunteer leadership positions. He was an active member of the Wisconsin Disabled American Veterans as a member of a chapter Finance committee for more than seven years. He was also an avid supporter of Vets and Friends of Wisconsin in Appleton where he served as Assistant Treasurer, Facebook Admin, and “computer/tech guy.”
Jerry was a loving, kind man who was unapologetically himself and loved to engage in deep conversation. He was generous, empathic, and always there to listen to and support a friend or family in need. He enjoyed listening to live music, especially heavy metal and blues. When you were with Jerry, you knew he would take care of you in any way he could. It’s impossible to capture everything that Jerry was in mere words. Funny, mischievous, energetic, loyal, understanding, loving, and intelligent barely scratch the surface. Above all, he was a man who loved deeply and will be forever missed by all who knew and loved him.
There will be visitation on Friday, August 19, 2022 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Wichmann Funeral Homes, Superior Street location. Visitation will continue on Saturday morning at the church from 10:00 am to 11:15am. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 11:30 am at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 500 W. Marquette Street in Appleton with Fr. Patrick Costello officiating. Burial with Full Military Honors will be on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 11:00am Central Wisconsin Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in King, Wisconsin. Please plan to attend if you are able.
There will be a light lunch following mass. There will be a Celebration of Life on Jerry’s birthday, Saturday September 17, 2022. The celebration will be at the Northland Sports Pub & Grill, 340 W Northland Ave, Appleton from 5:00pm until approximately 10:00pm.
Mass will be livestreamed and recorded. A link to view the service is shown below.
: meet.google.com/mqi-cqki-upr or dial 1-609-491-2358 PIN: 990955958#