Jerri Bush Winger, 77, passed away on Jan. 8, 2022, at Phelps Health in Rolla.
She was born July 7, 1944, to Otis and Frances Cook in Eldora, Iowa.
She attended elementary, high school and junior college in Marshalltown, Iowa, before enrolling in the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, in 1964. She received her bachelor of journalism degree at MU in May 1966, and was employed with the Flint (Michigan) Journal newspaper the remainder of that year. She met Richard Bush, also a MU journalism student, and the couple was married in New Zealand where they were both employed with the Auckland, New Zealand Times newspaper.
Upon returning to the United States in 1967, Jerri and Richard made their home in Neosho, where the Bush family owned the Neosho Daily News. Jerri worked with the Missouri Division of Family Services in Neosho for about 12 years. Her last position was that of child welfare supervisor.
The couple had two sons, Rick and Ross, born to them before they were divorced in 1975.
Jerri returned to the University of Missouri in that same year to pursue a master’s degree in social work. She competed studies for that degree in 1977 and accepted employment with the Area Education Agency in Ottumwa, Iowa, with her assignment being the Albia, Iowa district. In the fall of 1978, she enrolled in the University of Tulsa School of Law, and graduated from there with her Juris Doctorate Degree in 1981.
Jerri worked about a year in private practice in southwest Missouri and then worked with a law firm in Anchorage, Alaska. The majority of her legal career, however, was in Putnam County, Mo. She was elected Putnam County Associate Circuit Judge in 1994 and served in that capacity from 1995 through 2010. She was much loved.
Jerri was united in marriage to Barney Winger in Unionville on Sept. 7, 2013, and he survives. Other survivors are her two sons, Rick Bush and wife Leia of Bella Vista, Ark., and Ross Bush of Vichy; grandchildren Hailey Bush, Taylor Swift, Jordan Means, Lindsey Bush, Clara Rose Bush, and Georgia Christeson; great-grandchildren Beckett and Reece Means, and Parker Aaron; brothers Norman Cook and wife Sue of Perrault Falls, Canada and Apache Junction, Arizona, and Gary Cook and wife Sandi of Marshalltown, Iowa; nephews Chad, Jeff and Josh Cook; nieces Michelle Berdusis and Bobbi Bohnsock; step-children Lisa Winger and Tammy Landgrebe; a close cousin Richard Bavender of Unionville.
A memorial service will be held at Playle and Collins, Unionville, Jan. 21, from 5–7 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made in her memory to the Unionville City Park by mailing to Unionville City Hall, P.O. Box 255, Unionville, Mo. 63565.