by Ron Ginther

Note: Is there a common theme in Jerry's Smorgasboard-like display on the table nearest the window of his apartment, found and photographed after his passing? Yes, it is "My Christian Family and Our Heritage." He had a tablecloth for a party spread beneath the items, which featured balloons of many colors, and stars and curling party ribbons. This is appropriate too, as it celebrates the theme. Following is a list of the items as best our eyesight can make them out, when dealing with a photograph made that would take in the whole table, not focusing on any group or one item.

If anything is clear, it is that Jerry Ginther cared for Jesus, his family, his dear friends of all ages, his Grandparents and the Plain View Farm heritage, including the Norwegian ancestry. The display says a lot about Jerry and his faith and love for plain, good people. He showed by action he wanted people to know who he was as a Christian, and that Jesus loved him and loved them too! His big window in the front of the apartment was kept unshuttered so that people at the apartment house could look in and see these items at his apartment.

Some people, hearing that there were a number of pictures of his mother on it, thought it was a "shrine" and therefore "strange" or maudlin or "too sentimental." There are iconoclastic, puristic, cold-hearted Protestants among us today, but even Martin Luther advised his Catholic artifact-smashing followers to "keep what is good" out of the Catholic churches that were taken over by Protestant congregations. Not all followed that good advice--they smashed and destroyed the churches, the good with the bad, and ended up with utter ruins. What good did they accomplish by that wanton destruction? Idolatry must be uprooted, true, but the Bible commands the people of God to make memorials, that the young might be instructed in the mighty acts of God in their midst. Do we take that seriously? Jerry did!

If you knew him at all, you knew Jerry loved his mother dearly, in word and deed, and was not ashamed to tell the world about her excellence! Further, he kept, preserved, and shared with them what was good of his family and his Christian heritage too, and included his own Christian friendships in the golden circle of his love and esteem. He was not ashamed of any bit of it, O shaming, condescending, blaming Protestants among us! For he wanted others outside the fold of Christ to know the Savior, the LORD JESUS--yes, the Crucified One who made it all possible and also emphasized the fact thereby that he believed his Christian heritage was indeed something highly worthy to be celebrated.-- Ed.

That table exemplifies his fun-loving, unformalistic evangelistic bent. And we believe these items were a heart-touching testimony right to the last, even to the medics and the coroner who entered the apartment where he was last found. Some of Jerry's own apartment house neighbors were seemingly disdainful of him, and we think one neighbor he trusted even stole from his apartment, yet you never know, his neighbors may have experienced heart changes afterwards, and thought more of getting right with God, knowing they would probably never again have such a generous, loving and thoughtful neighbor as Jerry, who beyond doubt was heaven-bound in life, and heaven-dwelling in death.--Ed.

1. Cross Made of Lettered Blocks, Saying: "I LOVE JESUS," "JESUS LOVES ME. [OR MEN]

2. Framed Picture of Pearl with MOM at the bottom of the frame.

3. Frame picture of Pearl, later in life.

4. Picture of Pearl, later in life, with candle and the open Bible in her hands.

5. Picture of Pearl years back.

6. Picture of Jerry and older brother Ronald.

7. Picture of Floy and Jennie McDonald (oldtime friends who had a valley farm nearby) and Jerry on an outing by the water.

8. A picture album of Jerry's Own Life Story.

9. Four Big White Coffee Cups .

10. Picture of Ginther family home at 407 19th St. NW, Puyallup, WA, where Jerry grew up.

11. Picture of Grandma and Grandpa Stadem and Snuggery.

12. Brochure of Pearl Ginther's Memorial Service at Mt. View Lutheran Church, Edgewood, WA, June 2011.

13. Couple cans of International Coffee next to the white Coffee Cups.

14. Postcard Picture of Viking Ship.

15. Family Group Picture of Ginthers.

16. Picture of Jerry, Pearl, and Matt Johnson (old friend of Jerry's and also Pearl's). 17. Picture of Grandma Bergit, and Pearl and her sisters at Grandma's Home in Mobridge.

18. Picture of the Ginthers at the home in Puyallup, out on the front lawn.

19. Various cards.

20. Plaques.

21. Picture of Joyce and boys at Mother Pearl's home, sitting on her couch in living room.

22. Picture of the late Irene Hovdenes (old-time Christian family friend of Ginthers from Sioux Falls days to 2010) with Jackie, her adopted daughter, when she was a little girl (both passed away).



With Incidents from Babyhood to Adulthood, by Mother Pearl Ginther,

and Brother Ron Ginther, and in gratitude to our Grandmother Bergit Stadem, who made our family possible in the first place by going by faith with her sister emigrating from Norway to America




THE BEST AND GREATEST NW SEATAC HOTEL CONCIERGE EVER, was born the youngest of eight in Puyallup, Washington, part of the Pacific Northwest, a few miles from Puget Sound and Tacoma's Commencement Bay, and in full sight of magnificent Mount Rainier. His mother recalls: "While we were living at 407 19th St. N.W., in Puyallup, my son was born Oct. 11, 1952, and when he was about six months old I would take him with me over to Mr. Don Fisher's home near the Lutheran Home, near the Fairgrounds, and leave him there at 6:30 a.m. and go and cook all day at the Lutheran Home. Afterwards, I would pick him up and go home and make dinner for the rest of my seven. In the morning when the Fisher family got up, I would lay him on the davenport and go on before they got up (this way I wouldn't disturb the family in the morning). Their little girl each morning would pull his hair when he was lying on the davenport sleeping to wake him up. Kids are kids, you know. He sure was a good baby. When I drove from my place once, and I thought someone would run into me, I stopped so fast his head hit against the headboard (this was long before seatbelts!). His forehead got a gash, and so I rushed home and fixed him up as best I could, and then kept my daughter home from school to care for him till after work. I took him then to the doctor to It took the nurse and me together to hold him down so the doctor could put in the four stitches into his forehead. Those out in the waiting room must of thought we were killing him in the doctors' office due to how loud he was screaming. Then when it was all over, he went out into the waiting room as if nothing happened. He said to all waiting there, 'The doctor just sewed up my hole!' He was all smiles! They had to have heard his screams, so imagine their surprise! Once at home, we took down a mirror upon his request, and he spent a long time examining the doctors' handy work. He was good about being left at the Fishers that age. He never cried, and loved the Fishers. He sure was a good baby. When he got to be four years old, Leona Fisher, Don's lovely blond wife, made him a special coat with medals and gold trimming, the same type dress military jacket Bruce Brown in the Army wore at the beautiful wedding when he and my daughter Gloria married in 1956 at our church, Mt. View Lutheran in what is now Edgewood. He was the Ring Bearer in this wedding, walking down the aisle with a sweet little girl his age who was the flower girl. I still have the jacket in the little bedroom of my home, hanging in the closet, but now with miniature versions of the metals he was awarded in the US Navy while serving 1971-1974 [which would make the jacket forty five years old]."


The NW CONCIERGE attended elementary school near home. "He fit in well, as I never got any bad reports, not once." He earned spending and some new clothes money during the summer by picking berries, like so many kids did in the Valley. Going to the big and exciting Western Washington State Fair here in Puyallup was, of course, a big treat for all the kids every year in September. Much later, he would even work there. After grade school, he was able to attend Augustana Academy in Canton, South Dakota, for his 9th year of school, 1967-68 school year.

His mother, aunts, uncles, cousins, His older brother Ron and his sister Joyce had gone there too. It was a Christian high school run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC), and was a school founded by pioneer Scandinavians in 1860 which his grandparents, Alfred and Bergit Stadem, strongly supported with a special fund set up for their descendants, aiding them with money for tuition.

"We Would See Jesus," The Augustana Academy School Song

After the family moved to Federal Way, his mother worked and lived at Lutherland Bible Camp on Lake Killarney as the Camp Cook and Caretaker, year-round. At this Federal Way high school he developed his artistic abilities in doing water color pictures of landscapes as well as his favorite cartoons, and he enjoyed the teachers he had, particularly Mr. Paul Fabry-Long, who had taught in many countries and was a great story teller and a walking history book as he lived through a lot of historical events you can read about today.

He loved Lutherland and all its activities and the majestic setting of old growth Douglas fir trees, flowering dogwood, and the lake itself, with all the wildlife, the ducks, geese, herons, deer, owls, squirrels, and so on. He lived there with his mother from 1968-1971 while attending High School. He later came back to stay several times after returning from the US Navy. Relatives, such as the Svanoes in 1976, visited us there, which was a special time for us all.

THE NW CONCIERGE, loved the canoeing, archery, hiking, trail bikes, swimming, and working as either a prep-cook/ dishwasher with his mother or ran the camp store. He had fun fishing with his pal Jeff Harwood, the camp manager's oldest son of the same age. Jeff won local fame when he caught the king fish of the lake, an eight pound bass. Lutherland, founded for Christian family camping and evangelism in 1939, was eventually discontinued, but the land went to become the site of the World Vision Headquarters building in Federal Way, which was an answer to prayer. The NW CONCIERGE'S mother's specific prayer that God use the site of Lutherland for His glory. The Mormon church sought the beautiful, waterfront site with its big trees, and others too, but God awarded it to World Vision, by having the new owner, Mr. Weyerhaeuser, offer it to World Vision's president when World Vision was looking for a new site for the 21st Century. The family's focus changed address again when his mother moved into Golden Rose Mobile Home Park in Puyallup down in the valley where she had lived before. That was when she was 72. She has resided there to the present day, and just turned the ripe, golden age of 92!


The NW CONCIERGE joined the U.S. Navy right after graduating from High School in 1971. He served in the Viet Nam War Era, a total of three years from 1971-1974, receiving an Honorable Discharge. His boat an LCM-8 was at one time very close to Viet Nam's coast and the war there--within 100 yards, in fact. He got to see the paradise of Hawaii, and Guam twice for refueling, and Okinawa four times, to pick-up and drop off 1000 Marines. He spent 45 days and also 55 days in the Gulf of Tonkin on two different amphibious ships. He lay "at anchor" seventy one days at Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines. He spent five days of R & R in the spectacular setting of Hong Kong before heading back state-side, which takes twenty-four days at sea to return, six days between Hawaii and California alone. In three years of service he was eight months at sea, and had shore duty the rest of the time at the USN Amphibious Base, Coronado, California. A year after returning state-side to this base, he was discharged and free, with a lot of memories and experiences of service life. [we now have his evaluation sheets by a supervisor, and Jerry received very good ratings.--Ed.]

He then started his series of educational degree programs, starting with two years of Psychology, 1974-1975. He worked eight years in Social Service, as a Houseparent in a group homes for one year, Recreation Director in a nursing home for 6 months, filled in as a manager of a Halfway home for two weeks, House parent at a Boy's Ranch six months, drove a van to workshops for the mentally and physically challenged for seven months, along with teaching basic learning skills at Rainier State school for college credit, three months. He also took his fourteen day training as an a Attendant One, at a state institution in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after which he returned to attend Bible College.

Two years he attended People's Bible College in Tacoma 1977-78, first receiving a 2 year degree, and later a BA Degree in Biblical Literature after finishing his A.A.S Degree at Pierce College, formerly Ft. Stelicoom College, when he attended it 1982-83. He also attended church in Tacoma and Spanaway. He and his brother Ron attended the same Tacoma Bible school called, initially, People's Bible Institute, and also lived in a Bible college house where they shared living and rent expenses.

About this time the NW CONCIERGE made a dream come true when he completed a back-packing trip of 98.8 miles on the Wonderland Trail in one trip. He had done it with two different back-packing trips, first the west side portion, then the east side two years later. Then two years later, at the age of 29 he decided to trek the whole way around before his 30th Birthday. The challenge to taken on the Wonderland Trai like this actually started when he was 10 years old. He was on a family camping trip, with friends along, and they all hiked on part of this trail. He wanted so much to wanted to keep walking the trail to see where it went. Unknown to us at the time, he was at the beginning and the end of the trail, being a loop trail. It would be 20 years later before he fufilled his dream of finishing the 98.8 mile Wonderland Trail. He spent 12 days on the trail, and 6 days in camp, due to rain. The Wonderland Trail not only circles Mt. Rainier, but it ascends and descends a total of 20,000 feet in elevation gain due to all the ridges which radiate from the mountain like spokes around the hub in a wheel. For every high ridge, there is a deep valley between each ridge. The trail is hazardous and difficult, as it takes you into very high country of up to 7000 feet elevation and even through snowfields and ice.

Once a guardian angel--it had to be--hiked a day with him on a stretch of the trail that crossed ice that became dangerous once it had snowed. Even without snow, he feared crossing that year-round ice-pack. This ice-pack so worried him that he once thought to hide an ice ax there ahead for the time when he came back to cross it. He had prayed more than one time concerning this ice-pack.

God must have heard his prayer, for a man came along to become his hiking companion the night before the crossing would take place. It was then September, and how many other people would be backpacking, going the same way as the NW CONCIERGE? Yet this friendly hiker was willing to start out the same time as he the next morning!

It had snowed in the night, just as the NW CONCIERGE had hoped it wouldn't. Now he could not hike down to the tip of it and just step over the nose of this ice pack as he did 2 years earlier before the snow season. There was no going back--miles of effort wasted and his dream unfulfilled, if he gave up now. No, he would have to cross the snow-covered ice.

The "mystery man" crossed first--safely! Then it was the NW CONCIERGE'S turn. Foot after foot, he made his way carefully as possible. Half way across he begged the Lord to get him 10 more feet before he fell, if he had to fall! That might sound like an odd request, except that he could hear a waterfall pouring out from the end of this ice-pack that sloped at a 45 degree angle across the trail. The sound told him that anyone falling at that point would be in deadly peril of joining the waterfall in a fatal slide from 7,000 feet elevation to 4,000 feet to the valley below!

Thank God he did not fall until ten feet later--just as he had asked the Lord. Instead, When he did fall he slid where he would not go over the edge. Thankfully, he found his backpack metal frame dug into the ice-pack stopping him from sliding further.

But he had lost his glasses! Where were they? He had to have his glasses to see the trail! At this near-tragic moment, he heard the man's or angel's voice as he spoke in such a comforting voice, talking the NW concierge, out of pure terror so that he wouldn't be too afraid to move to safer ground, which lay only a few feet away.

The man told him where his glasses lay in the snow, and he retrieved them without having to risk his life to get them. Next the man directed him not to rise to his feet but to edge his way to safety by crawling over to the rocks to the end of this ice pack. Safely across, He joined his mystery friend and they hiked together to the next camp. But then this angel or man disapeared without letting him, even thank him!

Now calling the man an "angel" may seem far-fetched to some people. But if he were not an angel, why did he only show up on this stretch, when many days before and after the NW CONCIERGE, hiked alone?

His mother was also praying for his safe return! Surely, that was a major contributing factor to his survival against the odds.

Congratulations, NW CONCIERGE, in completing the Wonderland Trail, not once but twice!! [Jerry gave his instructions that his ashes be strewn on the Wonderland Trail, in case of his death, and this was noted by his survivors, and yet Ron his brother was given some of the ashes and he has a mind to carry them to the cross on Plain View Farm to be deposited there, God willing. Other sites may be Israel, near his mother's olive tree growing in the Daystar Grove by the Sea of Galilee, or even by his mother's marker in Our Redeemer Cemetery, Bryant, SD.--Ed]



The NW CONCIERGE was always independent, living alone in his own apartments in Puyallup and Tacoma and able to find jobs, and worked often for Temporary Services which valued his ability to take on most anything they had available, until he got work at a hotel across from the very busy SeaTac International Airport, where he has been employed every since (1985 to the present). At this job he has won eight times the award of Employee of the Month, and also Employee of the Year. He was awarded many other hospitality awards called "Pineapple Awards." Hotel work for the NW CONCIERGE involves many different responsibilities. He used to pick up passengers, driving a van for the hotel from the hotel to the airport and back. He has often set up many banquet and meeting rooms. Other tasks are maintenance on rooms, lobby chandelier cleaning, and care of hallway and ceiling lights whenever needed. He has been in charge of booking guided tours, bringing up bags for tour groups, arranging the schedules of sights and places they would be taken to see, and acting as a Concierge also for other guests. Now with the decline in airline travel and hotel business after the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, he works for three department managers to get enough hours, as a Bellperson/ Concierge, Houseperson, and Banquet person, due to the drop in the travel business. Is this an active job--or what? He has worked for over sixteen years at this same hotel, and he resides in Tacoma, at an apartment where he cares for several beloved cats. During this time he has always shown great interest in movies, videos, camcorders, and sound equipment. This led him to taking video pictures for wedding couples. He also did videos for family members and friends. He has taped countless movies for special friends. It was a natural step for him to learn the Internet, to the extent of becoming a webmaster. As such he helped his brother Ron develop websites, which feature Christian family and pioneer heritage. This page too is a product of his help, since he taught his brother the same website skills he first learned. These websites have had over 22,000 visits (hits) since 1996 when he first began work on them. Many more thousands will be added, no doubt. It is a blessing to the family and also to the world, sharing the family's golden legacy of the life lived on his grandparents' farm in rural Bryant, South Dakota. Exciting new pages have been added, and the websites are always changing and being enhanced with photographs. His beloved Aunt Bernice Schaefer was present for the last time, to commemorate Uncle Russell's life, which was the NW CONCIERGE prime reason for going. In his many travels and trips, he visited the Schaefers in Atascadero, California four times, and he was so pleased that they supported him in his various projects from the beginning, a support they continued all the way to the end of this couple's time and wonderful Christian witness on earth.

Russell and Bernice Schaefer, Looking like Blushing Newlyweds in Their Early Days Together


He stands on the left in the front row, next to his brother Ron, and his sister.


At forty nine (which is, by the way, the absolute, perfect number, being 7 X 7, a perfect number multiplied by the other perfect number), he has testified to his mother that he accepted Jesus as his Lord when he was eight years old. Ron is almost exactly ten years older than him. So Ron was eighteen when to the NW CONCIERGE, himself was 8 years old, first accepted the Lord. But their age difference did not stop them from being close as both brothers and brothers in the Lord. The NW CONCIERGE also reaffirmed his decision when he was a teenager, he also told her, when he was about the age seventeen. He knows for certain, from the Word of God and from his mother's example and life-long testimony given in loving deed and word, that Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth, and Life. This is his own testimony, from which he has never swerved. The NW Concierge has not had an altogether easy life growing up, since his father never was able to be a true father to him, guiding and correcting him as a Christian father would, but he is a happy, people-loving person, despite having his mother only as his parent. Like several others in his family, he has not married, but he is never a loner and has always given his time and talents to enhancing the lives of others, friends, family, and his many acquaintances and fellow-employees. Because of that, Life for him then is very busy and fully occupied, full of varied interests. May the Lord bless you, the NW Concierge, with forty nine more happy and productive years at least, as you continue in your relationship with the Lord, and serve God and man as unselfishly as you have done in the past! [We had no idea at the time, but at age 49 he had two years shy of sixty years to live, and that was only 8 years away!--Ed.] He even considers his work at the hotel as a Humble Ministry of Helps. We thank you for all the countless hours and your own money you have spent, just to bless us with special times and activities, books, and videos. Jesus loves you, and we love you!--Your Mother, Friends and Family

The NW CONCIERGE is the third from left, back row

"All Things in Jesus" and Psalm 19:11--A Song and Verse for the NW CONCIERGE on his 49th Birthday

End Note: If anyone knows what happened to these precious heritage items of Jerry's, please let us know. We would hope that some or all were preserved and not thrown away, or even put away where no one can see them again. They mean a lot to his brother and sister, Ronald Ginther and Joyce Bassett, and we know that his dear friends would love to have some item to remember Jerry thereby. [Update: Since then our beloved sister Joyce Marlene Basset passed to the Lord's arms in 2018, and in her keeping were some of Jerry's belongings, going back many years, so what losses there were have been partly made up by additional items that tell of his life on this earth and in our family.]--Ed.

Links to other sites on the Web:

Plain View Heritage Farm Home Page: The Introductory, or Front Door

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