Cover photo for Gerald Moriarity's Obituary
Gerald Moriarity Profile Photo
1919 Gerald 2011

Gerald Moriarity

July 28, 1919 — March 1, 2011

Gerald "Jerry" Moriarity, born July 28, 1919, in La Crosse, WI, died Tuesday, March 1, 2011, at the age of 91 in the Perham Memorial Nursing Home.

Jerry was a newspaperman with printer's ink running in his veins. He began his career while attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, which later named him an Outstanding Alumnus. It was interrupted in 1942, when he served in the Army Air Corps as a Radar Navigator and instructor aboard B-29s. After the war he resumed his career during which he worked at four different newspapers, three of which he guided as publisher, in three different states. He pioneered newspaper involvement in cable TV. He leased a cable TV station and created an electronic newspaper The "Courier Cable" news which was so unique it drew attention throughout the media industry. Not content to be a spectator, he was active in many civic and service organizations. He collected dozens of professional awards and special honors. Chief among them were the Illinois Editor of the Year, the Iowa Press Association Master Editor-Publisher, the Iowa Newspaper Association Distinguished Service Award, and the National Newspaper Association highest award.

While much of his career was spent in executive capacities, he left a legacy of award winning writings and columns behind him. His by-line regularly appeared in the news columns of the papers he directed and for years he wrote a weekly column aptly named, "Not All Malarkey". In 1973 during the Watergate episode, he generated national attention with his editorial titled "A Plea for Sanity". It was reprinted in almost 600 papers -- reportedly the most widely reprinted editorial of a political nature during the months leading up to President Nixon's resignation, and led to interviews on National Public Radio, as well as appearances on Cronkite TV News, and C-SPAN. He took great pride in the fact that he had met and interviewed 10 presidents. He later wrote a book recounting some of these interviews and his impressions of the qualities that would make the best President.

Jerry married Betty Gray of Perham, MN, on June 18, 1949, at St. Henry's Catholic Church. Together they raised eight children with many a vacation spent in Perham where they purchased a lake home. He was active in the Little Pine Lake Association and promoted the 4th of July activities with gusto. His retirement years were active with writing, speaking, painting and traveling. During their retirement years, Jerry and Betty spent their summers on Little Pine Lake in Perham and winters in Sun City West, AZ. He loved life, anything and everything Irish, reunions of extended families and classmates, and a cigar to celebrate big and small events. Proud to be a veteran, he flew the flag on the North Shore daily. He was a man of faith and a member of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree.

Jerry was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. He is survived by wife, Betty of Perham; children, Daniel (Jan) of St. Michael, MN; Kathleen Moriarity Pray (Dean) of Peoria, AZ; Michael (Patty) of Eden Prairie, MN; Mary Moriarity Gehn (Allan) of Rock Island, IL; Patrick (Peggy) of Pella, IA; Brian (Pamela) of Big Lake, MN; Timothy of Columbia, MO; and Joseph (Lisa) of Mahtomedi, MN; sixteen grandchildren, four great grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews, and countless friends.

Preceded in death by his parents, Daniel J. and Emma (Krause) Moriarty; brother, Daniel J. "Buddy"; and sisters, Betty Zunker and Phyllis Lau.

Memorials are preferred to St. Henry's School or the Transitions Household at the Perham Memorial Home.

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