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Jerry Wade - Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of It's Our Wild Nature

Jerry Lee Wade, 73, of Columbia, died at home of cancer July 26, 2014. He was born in Mason City, IA, January 29, 1941, son of Ruth W. Liptrap Wade and Joseph Anderson Wade. He attended the University of South Dakota, and earned a B.A. in Sociology, an M.A. in Community Development and a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri. Jerry taught at Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois at Springfield) and served as a Community Development Specialist with Extension at the University of Missouri. With Rex Campbell, he co-authored Society and Environment, the Coming Collision. Jerry was a State Extension Specialist for 21 years, and a developer and instructor with the Community Development Academy, and an instructor and director of the Heartland Economic Development Course for 14 years. He spent several long-term stays in South Africa, teaching community economic development professionals and conducting workshops in villages. His understanding of rural economic needs was recognized internationally as his Rusty Bucket became the symbol for economic loss and a starting point for regaining community economic strength. Jerry lived his philosophy of community service. He served 16 years on the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission, 9 of them as chairman; and one term as Columbia Fourth Ward City Councilman. In office and out, he worked with fellow Columbians to empower citizens, strengthen the local economy and plan for growth. He was president of the Community Development Society and, after retirement, served as president and membership chair of the Audubon Society of Missouri, and was a founder and treasurer of the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative Foundation In the course of 49 years of marriage to Mary Kay Edgington (Edge) a succession of daughters became members of the family, Kim, by birth, and Kat, Jane, Nili and Helen by choice. He cherished them all. Jerry is survived by his wife, Edge, daughter Kimberly and son-in-law David Bones, and grandchildren Elliot and Sophia Bones, all of Columbia; and brother, James M. Wade of Las Vegas, NV. A celebration of Jerry’s life was held the day of his death. The attendees of that tribute were testimony to his character and legacy. There will be no other memorial service. As a final act of service, Jerry donated his body to the University of Missouri for medical education. Those wishing to contribute to a memorial fund to Jerry may do so in his name to a charity of their choice or to either the Audubon Society of Missouri or the Missouri Bird Conservation Initiative, both at 2101 W. Broadway, PMB 122, Columbia, MO 65203-1261.

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