Jerry was lifted from the darkness into the lights of Heaven on Sunday, December 22, 2019 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, surrounded by his loving family. Jerry Desotel was born March 6, 1935 to Leon and Annette (Dennis) Desotel. He was born in Fargo and grew up in the town of Wild Rice. He attended and graduated school at St. Benedict Academy. He was drafted for the Korean War, but when he arrived at Fort Riley, he was medically declined because of a heart murmur. Jerry became interested in electronics, and attended the DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago Illinois, where he graduated with an engineering degree in 1955. While attending school he worked at the Chicago Yacht Club and told many stories of assisting the rich and famous. This is where his love of the Chicago Cubs began, and he became a die-hard Cubs fan. He married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Sauvageau, on August 11, 1956 at St. Benedict Church where they made their home along the Wild Rice river and lived together for 58 years. Jerry and Pat liked to garden together, can vegetables and spend time at the lake. They built a life of faith, hard work and family memories. Jerry began his career as a Chief Studio Engineer at KXJB TV. In 1970 he left his previous employer and continued as Chief Studio Engineer at Prairie Public Television until his retirement. Jerry had a generous and helping hand in both church and community activities. His participation and strong faith were evident in many activities throughout the years. He partook in the Christian Cursillo, volunteered as a regular lecturer, usher and a member of the Cemetery committee. He thoroughly enjoyed contributing in the upkeep of the St. Benedict church cemetery. Other committee activities he enjoyed and had active leadership roles included: coaching PeeWee and Midget baseball, the Fargo Eagles Motorcycle Escort, the Hickson and Horace Senior clubs and VP of his Whispering Creek association. Jerry valued family and left a lasting impact for future generations. He has left treasured memories for all his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. He had a contagious personality and lived life to the fullest. He spent endless hours gardening, fishing, working in the cemetery and driving old blue (his faithful pickup). He spent hours in his shop tinkering, fixing and even building extravagant doll houses and barns for the grandkids. He loved gambling; from horse track racing with the grandkids, to poker with his poker group and endless card games with grandkids. Last but not least, he was a beloved Cubs fan; living long enough to see them win the world’s series in 2016. One of his most treasured memories was seeing the Cubs at Wrigley Field, the summer of 2018 as he watched a grand slam home run! As he slowed down, he quietly enjoyed watching TV with friends and family, in his Fargo retirement home, which he moved to in 2014. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Patsy; his parents, Annette and Leon; his brothers, Willard, Thomas, and Ronald. Jerry will be missed by his loving family. His sons – Jeffery (Wendy) Eagle, Idaho, Doug, Fargo; daughters – Tamara (Brent) Cummings, Fargo, Heidi (Gregg) Matejka, Fargo; 9 grandchildren: Matthew, Kellie (Chris Rivard), Jared, Chantel, Grant, Danielle (Patrick Rethemeier) Cassie, Brittany and Aaron and 7 great-grandchildren. He was welcomed into the arms of his Lord along with his beloved wife, Patsy; his parents, Annette and Leon; his brothers, Willard, Thomas, and Ronald. Jerry lived a life full of adventure and his quote for any difficult situation was “No hill for a hill climber”!

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  1. Losing your dad can be extremely difficult because you are losing a source of strength, stability and consistency in your life. I am sorry for your loss.

  2. Was fortunate to work with Jerry at Prairie Public. He was such a character. Both in “having good character”, and “being a charter” as fun person to be around, bringing his unique take on life to the crazy mix of characters at the station. Hadn’t seen him in many years, but have nothing but fond memories.

  3. Dear Jeff, Tammy, Doug, Heidi & Families,

    I am So Sorry for Your Loss. Jerry filled our Lives with So Much Joy and Laughter…. He was one of those Rare Individuals, who was Larger than life….

    As a Kid, I always thought of him As the Miracle man who worked his Magic on Our TV’s and our Hearts 💕 whenever Jerry walked into the Muscha Household and Demonstrated his Amazing engineering abilities on our Broken down Televisions and Shared His Great Gift of Humor and story telling, Time and time again His talent was fail proof,
    …..Poof, Like Magic, Jerry Brought Life back into our seemingly worn TV Sets and Joy into our hearts, “One cannot Imagine how heartbroken a kid is when they cannot see their Favorite TV shows as a kid Like “Little House on the Prairie” or the Handsome Movie stars Like Micheal Land or Elvis Presley … And My brothers even though they wouldn’t admit it, they lived
    to see their favorite TV Shows as Kids Like “Gun smoke, The Rifle Man and Bonanza”
    Jerry was Like Pa Ingles or Ben Cartwright was on TV, He always Saved the Day with his Talents, his Love of Family and Friends and his Amazing Gift of Laughter, which he shared with everyone Blessed enough to know him.

    While We experienced so much Happiness in Yester years as kids, because of Jerry restoring the Entertainment in our Home provided by that Magical TV box, Nothing could compare to The Many Blessings of His Friendship in Our Lives
    and the Great Stories He would Share with us which filled the Muscha House with the Endless Roar of Laughter!
    Listening to Jerry and My Dad and Brothers Banter back and forth was the Best Entertainment Ever!!!😄

    As an Adult, I am Ever Grateful for Jerry’s Presence in our Lives and Also for The Precious Blessings of his Legacy, and that which each of You, as his Children, have Brought into Our Family…
    Thank You, He was, and You all are, a part of Our Family at Heart.

    Passing marks the the Loss of A Godly man, A Goodman, And a Good Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Very Dear Friend to us All… Jeff, Tammy, Doug, Heidi and Family, Thank You for Sharing him with Us….
    . …The years have gone by so QuicKly, but the Wonderful Memories Of Jerry, Will Forever be Etched in our Hearts and Minds and Live on for Eternity….

    I Pray that You feel the Love from all Of Us which cradles You, as Your Father/Grandfather makes His journey unto his Eternal Life
    My Deepest Heart Felt Sympathy,
    LaDonna Muscha

  4. I was so sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. He was a Great guy. He would help in any manner he could, had a quick joke,and full of information if asked about Wild Rice area. He will be missed by so many!

  5. Such a beautiful video tribute to your dad, Heidi. There were so many happy faces and so much love in all those pictures and perfect music to capture his spirit and the way he cherished his family. My deepest heartfelt sympathy for you and your whole family.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. I have such fond memories of working with him at Prairie Public Broadcasting. He was a true ‘renaissance man’ with so much knowledge and a strong work ethic. I wish his family peace during this difficult time. Jerry was certainly a man to be proud of…. I’m glad I was able to know him!

  7. Jeff, Tammy, Doug and Heidi,
    My condolences to you and your family on the passing of your dad.
    My memory of your dad is that of a wonderful, caring, so full of life and funny man.
    His smile and laughter were infectious.
    What a wonderful family your Mom and Dad brought into the world.
    Godspeed Jerry.
    My heart goes out to all of you.

  8. I remember him calling me a turkey all the time LOL.I don’t think there was a single time he didn’t make me laugh.Jerry is going to be missed. But always remembered .

  9. Words can’t express how sorry I am to hear of Jerry’s passing. I enjoyed getting to know him very much, and he will be greatly missed! My heartfelt condolences to all of the family.

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