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Jerry Theise


Published Nov. 09, 2017 • Last Updated 10:53 a.m., Nov. 09, 2017

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Jerry Theise, a 32-year resident of Guilford, died peacefully Oct. 22 at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford. He was 92, born Sept. 13, 1925, in Newark, New Jersey.

He worked in the weather bureau at the Newark airport at 15, and received the Purple Heart as an Army scout in WWII. He graduated Drew University on the GI Bill and taught middle school in Pennsylvania until he was recruited to join Houghton-Miffiin Company, where he spent the next 31 years before joining The National Science Foundation to develop new science textbooks for elementary and secondary classrooms. He never lost his passion for education and publishing, which was surpassed only by his love of the water and sailing. Jerry was a solo-sailer until he met his wife Judy. During their 40 years together, they cruised the West Coast, the East Coast, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and the Maritimes, spending their last cruising years on the coast of Maine.

He was predeceased by his parents and brother Robert M. Theise, daughter Jennifer Theise Martin, and her mother Susan King Theise. He leaves beloved wife Judy Burger Theise and grandson Conner Ozer of Guilford; daughter Marcia Theise Schiffer and her husband Joshua Schiffer of Riverside, California; grandchildren Jacob Schiffer and his wife Nicole; and great-grandsons Ben and Charlie Schiffer of Portland, Oregon. He also leaves his granddaughter Emily Schiffer and partner Ricardo de la Torre, and new-born great-granddaughter Golda of San Diego, California; son Richard Theise and wife Barbara Theise; granddaughter Stacy Theise; son-in-law Michael Martin; sister-in-law Joan Burger Siem; brother-in-law Trond Sevarud of Houston, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

Jerry served for many years on the Guilford Marina Commission and the Harbor Management Commission. He often provided Race Committee services for the Sachem’s Head frostbite races.

Thank you to the many friends who enriched his life and final years.

A private celebration of his life will be held in the spring. Please feed the birds this winter. He’d want you to. Arrangements in the care of the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church St., Guilford. To share a memory or leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit

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