First Responders 05

Gerald J. Lauther

June 25, 1941 ~ January 2, 2022 (age 80)

Obituary

                                                     Gerald J. Lauther, 80

              Gerald “Jerry” James Lauther, of Hebron, NH, passed away at home on Sunday, January 2, 2022, surrounded by children and his wife. 

              Jerry was born in Parkland, PA, to Ida and John Lauther, the fourth of five children. He was an altar boy and also played on the State Championship Neshaminy High School football team. As a young adult, he moved to South Jersey. Jerry earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Camden County Community College. 

              In 1964, Jerry was accepted into the New Jersey State Police. Initially a road trooper in South Jersey, Jerry soon was transferred to the Bureau of Narcotics, where he served for 19 years with many promotions in rank. As Lieutenant Lauther, he first supervised the Central Region of the Narcotics Bureau and later the Southern Unit of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Jerry retired in 1991 and subsequently worked for a pharmaceutical company. 

              Jerry served with honor and distinction. In 1985, following an 11-month investigation, Jerry led a team in the execution of a search warrant on a sophisticated methamphetamine lab in South Jersey. The team was met immediately with gunfire. In the bloody shootout that ensued, a Narcotics Bureau detective was fatally shot and a trooper wounded. Jerry shot and severely wounded the operator of the lab, who later was convicted on murder and drug charges. For his actions, Jerry was awarded the State Police Distinguished Service Medal “for a deed of bravery or self-sacrifice by a sworn Member of the Division that involves the risk of the Member’s own life above and beyond the performance of duty.” He also was presented with the Public Safety Valor Award by The Two Hundred Club of Essex County, NJ. 

              While in the Narcotics Bureau, Jerry worked with his future wife, Ileana N. Saros, then Deputy Attorney General with the NJ Division of Criminal Justice. Their romance followed years later. In 2006, they retired from their respective positions, were married at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Newark, NJ, and relocated to Hebron, NH. They loved the views from their home of the lake and mountains and engaged in year-round outdoor activities that included golfing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, gardening, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Dancing was a passion and they took ballroom dancing lessons.  They derived great pleasure from cooking together and prepared a gourmet meal almost daily. They enthusiastically embraced the major holidays, especially Christmas. Their traveling took them to areas of New England and Canada and also to Greece, South America and Southeast Asia, where they attended a cooking school in Bangkok. They enjoyed warm friendships in New Hampshire. Jerry also pursued his life-long interest in watercolor painting and sketching. For many years, Jerry painted their annual Christmas cards from Ileana’s ideas. 

              Jerry was a devoted father to his four children from a prior marriage. The children, now long grown, cherish memories of their frequent camping trips and other adventures.  During his illness, they gave him strength and abiding love. 

              A man of deep faith, Jerry will be remembered for his decency, calmness and humility.  One of his and Ileana’s favorite Christmastime movies was “It’s a Wonderful Life” and, like George Bailey, his truly was a wonderful life. He is survived by his wife Ileana; twin daughters Darcy Drechsler (husband Paul) and Denise Ryder (husband Michael) of NJ; son Gerald J. Lauther, Jr., and wife Linda of HI; youngest daughter Heather Hernandez of FL; grandchildren Brittany Ryder and daughter Gabrielle of NJ, Robert Drechsler, wife Yzah and sons Jacen and Myles of NJ, Dylann Mantilla and husband Dennis of NJ, Tori Drechsler of NJ, and twins Paige and Skylar Hernandez of FL; sister Margaret Ramos and husband John of CA, and sister-in-law Catherine Lauther of CA.  Jerry is predeceased by his beloved and first grandchild Steven C. Lauther, and brothers Jack and wife Lottie, James and wife Marion, and Richard. 

              Emmons Funeral Home, Bristol, NH, is assisting the family. A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2022, at 1:30 pm at Our Lady of Grace Chapel of Holy Trinity Parish, 2 West Shore Road, Bristol, NH. A reception will follow at the church’s Marian Center.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald, please visit our floral store.


Services

Memorial Mass
Saturday
February 5, 2022

1:30 PM
Our Lady of Grace Chapel, West Shore Rd, Bristol

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