Jere Lee Pastreck was born Sunday, March 28, 1948 at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MA. His parents were Alda Morin (1911-1997) and Edwin Ernest Pastreck (1909-1953), both first generation American born citizens. Jere was the youngest child and had two older brothers – Edwin "Pat" and James "Jimmy" (1934-1999) who were 15 and 14 years his senior. Jere's early education was at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Springfield and later at Cathedral High School in East Longmeadow. In 1970, he received his BA degree in English from American International College in Springfield, MA. In 1990, he received his MA degree in English from Oakland University in Rochester, MI. In 1997, he earned a Master's Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University School of Business and Public Management.
In high school, Jere's nickname was Pumpkin. He got his nickname after removing a pumpkin that was on the stage when he worked on the set of and acted in Cathedral High School's performance of South Pacific. The next day, a classmate came into class and innocently asked where the pumpkin had gone. The nun was standing behind the door and heard her question. During class, Jere raised his hand to ask a question and the nun acknowledged him by saying "Yes, Pumpkin?" Everyone in class doubled over in laughter and thus Jere earned his nickname.
Jere was baptized at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Springfield, MA. His godparents were his maternal aunt and uncle, Ida and Alfred Morin.
During his senior year at American International College (Springfield, MA), Jere was President of the Student Government. He was chosen by the Deans' offices to be the Ivy Orator and to deliver the Ivy Oration at the 1970 Commencement Program. At this same program, Jere was awarded the McGowan Trophy for his outstanding service to both the college and to the Springfield, MA community
After graduation, Jere embarked upon a full time career with General Motors Acceptance Corporation. He had previously been employed as a part time GMAC employe while attending AIC. Over the course of his 42 year career with GMAC, Jere held several positions and worked in GMAC offices in Springfield, W. Springfield, Worcester, Boston and Quincy, MA., in both Houston and San Antonio, TX and in GMAC Executive Office in Detroit, MI. Through GMAC's developmental programs, he also attended seminars which certified him as a CPM (Certified Project Manager). In 2008, Jere retired from GMAC..
On a blind date in early 1974, Jere met Jacqueline Johnson, Assistant Director of Admissions at Springfield College. They were married in late 1974 by candlelight in the living room of Jacquie's parents' house by the Rev. Charles P. Harris. Their son Alan was born in 1989. In March 1990, Jacquie and Jere renewed their marriage vows in front of Father Eugene Strain at St. Mary's of the Hills Catholic church in Rochester Hills, MI. When asked why the long delay in not having a child until 15 years after they married, they often quipped that they were too busy packing and unpacking from Jere's various transfers. Health issues prevented Jere from attending Alan's Rochester High School graduation in 2007. After Jere's retirement, he and Jacquie left Rochester Hills, MI and relocated to Ft. Myers, FL to be closer to Alan who was attending University of Central Florida in East Orlando. In August 2011, proud papa Jere attended Alan's graduation and beamed as he watched Alan accept his diploma after being announced as a summa cum laude graduate in the Criminal Justice program.
An avid vegetable gardener, Jere had gardens at all his homes over the years until health issues prevented him from spending long hours toiling in the sunshine. He took an active part in YMCA Indian Guides when Alan was growing up. At one time, he was the chief of their particular tribe and arranged various outings for the boys and their parents. Jere also thoroughly enjoyed playing golf with friends, neighbors and co-workers. He also enjoyed spending hours reading (especially science fiction) and doing crossword puzzles.
Jere's earthly existence ended at 9:39PM on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 while a patient in the Medical Intensive ICU at Health Park Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers, FL. After a long and courageous fight and multiple medical procedures, Jere surrendered his soul to God and then joined his parents and brother Jimmy in Heaven. He is sadly missed by his wife Jacquie and his son Alan and by his brother Edwin "Pat" Pastreck of East Longmeadow, MA and his sister-in-law Lorraine Pastreck of Springfield, MA. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews and a host of friends and former co-workers. Jacquie and Alan extend heartfelt thanks for all the kind words and prayers offered to them during Jere's long and courageous battle. Our sorrow is not lessened but we are comforted knowing that he is no longer in pain and is now enjoying eternal peace.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date. If you would like to make a donation in his memory, please consider the American Red Cross or Glastonbury Abbey 16 Hull Street, Hingham, MA 02043. If you sign the Guest Book, please select the light a candle icon so Jere's path to Heaven will be illuminated.