Cover photo for Jerry Dale Shade's Obituary
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1953 Jerry 2022

Jerry Dale Shade

February 5, 1953 — November 23, 2022

Jerry Dale Shade (ᏧᎯᏌᏔ)
Jerry Dale Shade, 69, passed away on Nov. 23, 2022. The night before, he went to bed with thoughts of when to begin deep-frying this year’s Thanksgiving turkey. He would not wake again. Jerry (Tsuhisata) was born Feb. 5, 1953, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, to Tommy (Dinisogi) and Betsy (Quedi) Shade of Gore, Oklahoma. Cherokee was the language spoken in the home, but he learned English quickly from his older brother Emmett (Dvnai) Shade and from elementary school. Younger brothers Richard, William, Thomas, Albert and Robert looked up to him. Jerry took care of family from his earliest years. After high school, he attended Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, in 1971 where he met Judy Ann Lovato. Though he didn’t stay at Bacone, Jerry and Judy wrote to one another and eventually met again at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. They married on Dec. 31, 1973, and their children Karen, Gloria and Christopher soon followed. In those early years, Jerry and Judy moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later to Sequoyah County. Jerry was a welder for several companies, including Lee C. Moore Company. For a time, he made the 1 ½-hour commute between Tulsa and the place he would call home for the rest of his life. With help from family and friends, Jerry built a home for his family from the ground up. He and Judy raised their children in the quiet, rural countryside surrounding Lake Tenkiller and the Illinois River that he knew as a child. He worked long, hard hours in road construction that tested him when summer temperatures climbed into triple digits. Winter could be even tougher on work boots and will. As their children left home for college and, eventually, their own lives, Jerry and Judy looked toward their own pursuits. Judy finished her college bachelor’s degree. Jerry filled his time-off with the outdoor activities he loved most, especially fishing. He retired from construction in 2015. In early 2020, Jerry underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. Though slow, his recovery was remarkable to everyone around him. He wore a walking path around his land to make himself stronger. He spent time with friends jugging for catfish. When he had enough catfish in the freezer, he had a fish fry. He also liked to smoke ribs in the cast-iron smoker he built himself. Jerry loved time spent with his kids, especially on long nature walks. He spent hours in the backyard doing what he called “piddlin’ around.” Jerry especially loved drinking morning coffee on the front porch with Judy and their miniature schnauzer, Pepper. Jerry and Judy’s bond only strengthened over time. He was proud of and loved his family and the life that he and Judy made together. He was also proud to be part of Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee language preservation efforts as a Cherokee elder and language speaker.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Judy Shade; daughters, Karen Shade-Lanier and husband Jim Lanier of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Gloria Shade and husband Ross Greenawalt of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and son Chris Shade of Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is also survived by brothers William Shade and wife Joann of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Thomas Shade of Gore, Oklahoma; Albert Shade and wife Karen of Riverside, California; and Robert Shade of Muskogee, Oklahoma. He is also survived by cousin Rosa Mae Carter of Gore, Oklahoma; aunt Sally Gourd of Gore, Oklahoma; uncle Jake Phillips of Stilwell, Oklahoma; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tommy and Betsy Shade; and brothers Emmett Shade and Richard Shade.
Memorial service for Jerry will be 10:00 AM on Friday, December 2, 2022 at Blackgum Baptist Church in Vian, Oklahoma under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Service, Inc. in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

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