Gerald “Jerry” A. Bales, 95, of Wellington, Kansas died Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at Wellington Health and Rehab in Wellington, Kansas.
Mass of Christian Burial will be private for the family. Visitation will be Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 12:00 until 5:00 P.M. at the Shelley Family Funeral Home in Wellington. No family reception is planned. A Memorial has been established with the St. Anthony/St. Rose Restoration Project for the Bells, and Chisholm Trail Museum. Donations may be left with Shelley Family Funeral Home, PO Box 555, Wellington, KS 67152.
Gerald Aldon Bales was born June 20, 1924, the son of Everett and Texas Ola Mae (Fenn) Bales in Americus, KS. He grew up in Clovis, New Mexico. After the family moved to Kansas, he graduated from Herington High School and attended Kansas State University before joining the United States Army. While serving his country during World War II, Jerry was struck by a phosphorous shell outside his foxhole in Saarbrucken, Germany. He was flown to England and then transferred to Valley Forge hospital in Ohio where he spent almost 2 years convalescing and receiving 13 pioneering graft surgeries. During his brief 6 months of combat duty he was awarded the Purple Heart medal, and the Bronze Star Medal twice, once for crawling on his stomach under machine gunfire to attend to wounded soldiers. After honorable discharge from the army he returned to Kansas, attended Kansas University completing his degree in Pharmacy. On June 5, 1948, he was united in marriage with his high school sweetheart, Constance “Connie” Cultra. They were married for 71 years and raised 5 children.
Jerry and Connie moved to Wellington in 1953 where they owned and operated the Chief Drug Store for 35 years. They also owned Epperson Studio, Rushers Studio, a coin operated laundromat on South Washington, and several rental properties here in Wellington. After closing Chief Drug Store in the mid to late 1980’s, he continued his profession in pharmacy working in Wichita, KS at Checkers, and Broadway Pharmacy until he retired at the age of 88.
Jerry was modest about his accomplishments and multi-talented. He enjoyed many hobbies such as duck hunting, deer hunting, reading, electronics, guns, photography, fixing clocks and sewing machines as well as many other things. He was active in contributing his time to the St. Lukes Hospital board, Community Theater as a sound man, and Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife Connie and a grandson, Christopher Bales.
He will be deeply missed by his family. Survivors include, daughter Janice Dixon and husband David of Wichita, KS; daughter Jeannie Weber and husband Dale of Wellington; son Jim Bales and wife Sunni of Wellington; daughter, Julie Buresh of Wichita; and son, John Bales and wife Neta of Wellington; 19 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald "Jerry" Aldon Bales, please visit our floral store.
Chisholm Trail Museum
502 N. Washington, Wellington KS 67152
St. Anthony/St. Rose Restoration Project for the Bells
210 N B, Wellington KS 67125