Cover photo for Gerald Lee Tickle's Obituary
Gerald Lee Tickle Profile Photo
1942 Gerald 2022

Gerald Lee Tickle

April 8, 1942 — December 7, 2022

Gerald “Jerry” Tickle, 80, of Cozad, passed away December 7, 2022, at Cozad, Nebraska. 

Jerry was born April 8, 1942, at Vale, Oregon, to Howard and Opal (Echternach) Tickle as one of six boys. He grew up on a farm southeast of Madrid before the family moved to Grant, where he graduated from Grant High School with the class of 1960. 

In 1961, Jerry married his high school sweetheart, L.F. Freddie Knotwell. Their union was blessed with two sons, Troy and Trevor. Jerry attended McCook Community College before graduating from Mortuary School at the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. Jerry subsequently went to work at Adams & Swanson Funeral Home in North Platte.

Jerry and Freddie purchased the funeral home in Arnold, NE, and later Mullen, faithfully serving the area for many years. Following their time there, Jerry took a brief break from funeral service before purchasing the Ryan Funeral Home in North Platte. He would eventually sell that funeral home and purchased Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad in 1983, serving Cozad, Eustis and Elwood, and, later, Carpenter-Tabler Funeral Home in North Platte. Jerry would enter into a partnership with Kent Swanson which brought Adams & Swanson Funeral Home, Carpenter Memorial Chapel, and Berryman Funeral Home together. Jerry's son, Troy, joined his father in the profession in the early 1980s, which was something that gave him great pride. 

Jerry was ambitious, driven, sharp, attentive to detail, and giftedly sociable. He had a snappy wit that kept everyone on their toes and a gift for telling stories that unfailingly charmed the listener. Jerry valued great humor and possessed such range and talent as to connect with people in almost any circumstance, be it at a pool hall, on the golf course, at a fine social event, or in a grief-stricken room. There was an honest aspect of his character that was 'unyielding,' and he channeled that gift to serve people unreservedly. Jerry was a man of excellence who gave himself over to the task entrusted to him.

Jerry had been active in the Chamber, served as a city council member, was a Nebraska diplomat, and was chosen diplomat of the year. He was a member of the Methodist Church, Nebraska and National Funeral Directors Associations, a past Director of South-Central Developmental Services, a charter member of the Sertoma Club in North Platte, and a member of the Cozad Elks Club #2250. Jerry had also earned his pilot's license and greatly enjoyed his time in the air.


Jerry was perpetually curious and was an avid reader. He loved to work on crossword puzzles and advance his knowledge. Jerry was a tinkerer, often getting lost in his work, with an infallible penchant for hitting his head on something before the job was finished. Sometimes Jerry did things the easy way, sometimes the hard way, but if he was going to do it, you could bet it'd be done right.

Jerry had a deep love for his family; his grandchildren especially filled his cup. He was always proud to watch and support them in their endeavors. His heart was always with them, and when there was loss, a part of Jerry, too, was relinquished. 

Jerry was a father to two sons and, in an abiding sense, a father of a different sort to many others, whom he cultivated and helped form through his great passion and mentorship. A husband, father, grandpa, brother, funeral director, teacher, treasured mentor, giver, tinkerer, pool shooter, and storyteller, Jerry Tickle was a great many things to many people. He will be remembered for many reasons, not the least of which is how he loved and served others with his whole heart. Tagore wrote, "Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come." May he rest in God's perpetual light, in the company of his sons.

Jerry was preceded in death by his two sons, Troy Tickle in 2021 and Trevor Tickle in 1999; brothers, Wayne, Melvin, and Lonnie Tickle; sisters-in-law, Roesetha (Clinton) Mutchie, Turzah (Jesse) Michael and brother-in-law Hoyt Hendrichs.

Survivors include his wife of over 60 years, Freddie Tickle of Cozad; daughter-in-law, Karen Tickle of North Platte; grandchildren, Drew Tickle, Trey Tickle, Jenna (Michael) Merrill, and Sutton Tickle; a great-grandchild, Harlee Lynn Merrill; brothers, Harold (Carol) of Alexandria, VA, Marvin (Bobbie) of Laguna Beach, CA; sister-in-law, Sherri Tickle of Ogallala; along with several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Meadowlark Pointe or Central Plains Home Health and Hospice. Condolences may be shared at

Services will be held on Monday, December 12, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cozad United Methodist Church with Pastor Doug Gahn officiating. Private family burial will be prior to the service. Visitation with family present will be Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gerald Lee Tickle, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 11, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, December 12, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Cozad United Methodist Church

1515 B Street, Cozad, NE 69130

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