County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Gerald “Jerry” Alan Schanhals

November 13, 1946 – December 12, 2023


      Gerald “Jerry” Alan Schanhals passed away in Anchorage, Alaska at the age of 77, with his family by his side.  He was the son of the late William and Carmen (Arline) Schanhals of Michigan.  He attended Harrison High School, where he was the captain of the football and basketball teams and loved his Harrison Hornets, blue and gold!  After a year of college at Ferris State University, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Terry Brown (Schanhals) and had two girls, Tammara and Lori.  He was the Deputy Sheriff in Clare County and attended Carpenter school.  He was also a construction teacher for a short time at Mid Michigan College.  In 1973, Jerry moved his family to Anchorage, Alaska, where he worked with Eley Construction, and became a General Contractor, owning his own business, Schanhals Enterprises, until he retired.

     Jerry was an avid trapper, fisherman and hunter his entire life, sharing his best stories along the way with his family and friends.  He was a bush pilot and owned his own airplane (Cessna 180 on floats) and flew to remote fishing holes on lakes and rivers.  He was a Fishing Guide on the Kenai River for 16 years with Riddle’s Fishing Lodge, where the fisherman named a fishing hole after him (Jerry’s Hole) due to the number of fish his customers would get out of it.  He was a member of the Anchorage Moose Lodge for 25 years and a member of the Sierra Club.  He loved gambling and playing cards, putting puzzles together, attending car shows, NASCAR and drag races, golf tournaments and spending time with his family and friends.  Recently, Jerry enjoyed playing poker at venues around Anchorage and made many new friends.  He started his day going to Jackie’s Place (restaurant), where he did crossword puzzles and Sudoku while visiting friends.  Another passion of his was assisting at Knights Taxidermy and Grizzly Expediters.

     Jerry is preceded by his father and mother, William and Carmen (Arline) Schanhals, his brothers, Ward, Tom and Curt Schanhals, and his wife and love of his life, Terry Schanhals.  He is survived by his daughters Tammara Casey and Lori Schanhals, grand-children Kyle Dennis, Katelyn Dennis, Kira Casey, great grand-daughter Everly Wilkenson-Dennis, and son-in-Law Thomas Casey.  His family and friends meant the world to him and will be missed by all.

     A Celebration of Life will be held on January 13, 2024, from 2 pm-6 pm, at the American Legion (Post 28), 7001 Brayton Dr., Anchorage, Alaska, 99507.  There will also be a Celebration of Life in Beaverton, Michigan, on May 11, 2024, from 11am-3pm at the Beaverton Lions Community Center, 138 Saginaw Street.   Jerry’s final resting place will be next to the love of his life, Terry Schanhals in the Beaverton Cemetery following his Celebration of Life.