Gerald “Jeri/Jerry/Jere” Tartoni was born on September 9, 1941, to Helen (Lazzeri) and Guiseppe “Joe” Tartoni. He took his final bow on April 21, 2020. In his life, Jeri took the road less traveled. After graduating from Bentley High School in Livonia in 1959 he married and started his family at the same time as he pursued his college education. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University majoring in political science and philosophy and earned an accelerated fellowship at Wayne State University.
Jerry had a brilliant mind. He loved to challenge his oldest daughter, Natalie, to logic games at a very early age, which he regretted when she became a teenager.
Jerry was a great teller of stories and cultivated the imagination and creativity of his children and grandchildren. He loved literature, music, and poetry. He was an original foodie, but he would also eat anything his young children made for him, including a beautiful sugarless grape kool-aid pie his daughter Leah made and saltine pancakes his daughter, Nicci, made when they were young. He ate his children’s creations with a smile on his face (no matter how disgusting it was) to encourage their culinary creativity.
He loved to write obscure poems with skewed spelling and doodles of cubes. He would share these poems with anyone, but especially his children, who often thought it was a form of punishment or torture.
Jerry enjoyed philosophical conversations. He often did this on long hikes or over a game of chess with his son, Joe, teaching him how to think analytically by looking at any topic from a variety of angles.
Jeri introduced his family to his life partner and best friend, Beth, at his nephew’s wedding in 1994. Her love, support, and guidance made him a better man, father, and grandfather/Nonno. She became the bridge between the past and the present and an integral part of the entire family.
Jere will be remembered and missed by his soulmate, Beth Yaroch, his four children: Natalie (Ed) Masha, Leah (Mark) Hilty, Nicci (Wade) Rosted, Joe (Erin) Tartoni, and his eleven grandchildren: Cody Masha, Dustin Masha, Courtney Hilty, Matthew Hilty, Keelie Rosted, Kacy Rosted, Averi Rosted, Caden Rosted, Max Tartoni, Mia Tartoni, and Evelyn Tartoni. He will also be missed by his former wife and friend, Nancy Tartoni, his siblings, Don (Jan) Tartoni, Sylvia (Larry) Tengel, Linda (Jay) Lindsey, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. And also by his beloved cats, Mylez and Potter.
A celebration of life will happen at a later date when we can be all together.
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