Jerry Bullock 1942 – 2011

Oct 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Spotlight

Obituary information provided by the Bullock family:

Jerry Lee Bullock was born in Walla Walla, Washington on January 14, 1942. He passed away at his home in West Linn, Oregon on Friday, October 7, 2011. Jerry was 69 years of age when he passed from congestive heart failure and COPD.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 43 years, 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; he is further survived by his beloved companion dog, Bandit. Jerry was preceded in death by his mother Theda L. Kerr Bullock, his father Wallace F. Bullock, and his brother Daniel Wallace Bullock.

Jerry grew up in Milton-Freewater, Oregon and graduated from McLoughlin Union High School in June 1960. On September 3, 1968, Jerry married Georgia “Jo” Lee Wilding; who brought along her five children, Jim age 16; the 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, Oregon 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, Oregon.

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 non-profit 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. Jerry 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 that the trailer made it to each and every show. Eventually, they outgrew the trailer and found a building at 4th and Broad Street in Chattanooga, 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.

We wish to thank KP Hospice for all their strength and support, which they have given to our dad and us (his family) during our time of need, especially Robert Yuille and Meredith Seiser.

A graveside service will be held in Milton-Freewater, Oregon on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 11:00AM. Jerry’s “Celebration of Life” service will be held at Rolling Hills Community Church at 3550 SW Borland Road in Tualatin, Oregon on Friday, November 18, 2011, at 11:00AM. Special room rates at Crown Plaza Hotel, Lake Oswego, Oregon. Call direct 503-624-8400 and ask for the “Bullock Block”. At Jerry’s request, in lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, 3315 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN. 37408-3052. 423-267-3132.