Cover photo for Jerry Wesley Maranville's Obituary
Jerry Wesley Maranville Profile Photo
1940 Jerry 2020

Jerry Wesley Maranville

September 21, 1940 — July 7, 2020

DR. JERRY W. MARANVILLE Jerry Maranville was born on September 21, 1940 to Wesley and Marie (Cheatum) Maranville. He passed away on July 7, 2020. He spent his first few years on a farm in Reno County Kansas with his parents. In 1945, his father’s brother-in-law asked if the family would like to move to Colorado and farm a large acreage which he had just purchased. His parents agreed, and the family moved to Matheson in 1945. His early childhood was spent helping on the farm, raising chickens and cattle. He graduated from Simla High School in 1958 where he was active in and lettered in the four sports offered for men. He also participated in mixed chorus, and drama. He entered Colorado State University in the fall of that year majoring in Soil Conservation, and received his B.S. degree in 1962. Although his initial plans were to return to the farm, he decided to continue his education at CSU and was accepted into graduate school to study for a M.S. in Crop Science. His research was on the study of wheat variety variations in their ability to germinate under the drought stresses found in the Great Plains. He received his M.S. degree in 1964. In the summer of 1964, he accompanied a friend to visit Kansas State University who was to start a Ph.D. program there in the fall. He happened to meet a Professor of Agronomy during his visit. When he returned to Colorado, he was surprised when his major professor at CSU called to tell him the KSU professor with whom he had spoken, wanted him to join their university to study in the area of Crop Physiology and Biochemistry. He accepted and received a Ph. D. from KSU in the spring of 1967 at the age of 26. He applied to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a position in agronomy, and was hired to be part of a team designated as a University Area of Excellence for studies in crop physiology. Dr. Maranville had been dating a beautiful young woman Donna Perrill, who also was from the local area and graduated from Simla High. They decided to get married and start their lives together on August 12, 1967. Donna was attending Colorado State College at Greeley, and continued her studies at Nebraska where she received her B.S. To this union was born three sons, Clay, Cole and Case. Donna and Jerry were active in the United Methodist Church and the Boy Scout Program, and were always proud that each son became an Eagle Scout and graduated from the University of Nebraska. In 1979, Jerry joined another team who was to be funded by USAID to provide assistance to agricultural programs in less developed countries. His first trip abroad was to the Sudan in Africa, where he and four other individuals started a collaborative effort in agriculture with the Sudanese government. They were the first American team into Sudan since that country had severed ties with Russia. In 1982, Jerry and Donna moved with their children to the Philippines where Jerry worked for one year with the International Rice Research Institute and the University of the Philippines on a sabbatic leave. Upon returning to Nebraska, he continued his research on nitrogen use efficiency of sorghum, and participating in international work for the rest of his career. During that time, he gave collaborative assistance to researchers in Africa including Mali, Niger, Ghana, and Egypt. He also served as Associate Head of a project in Morocco. He was hired by the University of Wyoming in 1988 to perform a special assignment in Somalia, and spent significant time as a collaborator in India throughout his career. In 2000, right before retirement, he was asked by the Chinese government to visit there for a brief period in an agricultural advisory role. He and Donna, who had traveled with him to many countries and who also worked for the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska State Museum, retired in 2000 and 2001, respectively, and returned to Jerry’s original Matheson home. Jerry was active in Kiwanis International and served several offices in that organization to help those in need, especially children. He was very active in the American Society of Agronomy, and in 1997 was presented their highest award of Fellow in the Society for his research in nitrogen use efficiency. He managed over the years to follow his passion of music. He learned to play the pedal steel guitar as a young man, and joined county bands in Lincoln. He was a member of the very popular Aces High band which gave him the opportunity to fulfill his passion. This band performed opening acts for country stars such as Tracy Byrd and Merle Haggard. He joined a local country band upon returning to Colorado, the C T Band, which was also popular with the local crowds. Jerry served as president of the Big Sandy Alumni Association at Simla for several years, and was president of the Simla Thrift Store. He was a school bus driver for Big Sandy Schools for 12 years, and an avid supporter of the school programs where his wife Donna taught first grade. His greatest love was his family. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was a devout Christian and loved the Lord God with all of his heart. He developed an aggressive stage 4 prostate cancer in 2017 which became wide spread throughout the bones in his body. He entered the Mayo Clinic in April that year to start treatment. In December, the Clinic found no cancer in his body which according to the Clinic is very rare. It was always his belief that he overcame this disease for awhile due to God’s Grace, Donna’s love and devotion to him, and prayers of those in his family, church and community. He leaves behind his wife Donna, three sons, Clay (Lori), Cole (Angie), Case (Lindsay) and their families consisting of 10 grandchildren Alex, Sydney, Keagan, Mia, River, Brinley, Summit, Lumae, Elsie, and Fields. He also leaves his only brother Jack and wife Linda, nephews, nieces and a host of friends. Memorials can be made to the Big Sandy Alumni Association memorial fund, your church or your favorite charity.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, July 11, 2020

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

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