Jerry Bickley

Jerry Bickley


October 15, 1932 - October 4, 2023


Jerry Bickley, 90, of Plankinton, SD, passed away Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at his home. Family members gathered at his side all week before his death. His sweetheart of 36 years, Susie Bickley, never left his side. A Celebration of Life will be held on Jerry’s 91st birthday, Sunday, October 15, from 12-3:00 PM at the Plankinton Fire Station. Interment with military rights will be Monday, October 16, at South Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Sioux Falls. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Jerry Jean Bickley was born in Farmersville, Texas, on October 15, 1932, to Haywood and Dayte (Glass) Bickley. He was the second of 5 boys. The family moved to Deloit, Iowa, during World War II for his father's beekeeping business. Later, they moved to Blackfoot, Idaho, where Jerry graduated from Blackfoot High School. Upon graduation, he began working for the Union Pacific Railroad, where he was drafted into the Army. He served in Korea from 1953 to 1955. Upon returning from the war, he went back to the railroad, where he spent the next 22 years. In 1975, after a tragic accident on the railroad and a long recovery, Jerry returned to his passion for beekeeping and moved to Plankinton, South Dakota. Living in Plankinton allowed Jerry to serve his community. He spent 35 years as a volunteer firefighter and active member of the ambulance service.

Jerry was a man of honor. Honesty and your word on a handshake were better than a contract to him. Jerry loved to serve his family and community. If you needed anything, Jerry would jump right in and genuinely loved to help out. 

Jerry has five wonderful children from his first marriage: Steve, Julie, Paul, David, and Karen. He married the love of his life, Susie Schipke, on November 26, 1986. Family was very important to Jerry and Susie; their vacations were spent visiting their loved ones. From Alaska to North Carolina, Jerry and Susie would go wherever their family was. It’s probably why Jerry loved the song "I've Been Everywhere" by Johnny Cash.

Together, Jerry and Susie loved their 19 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, and countless nieces, and nephews. Often spoiling them with scones and bacon at their favorite breakfast diners and shipping Christmas treats and fruitcakes.

Jerry also loved to chat! He would grab coffee with friends twice daily at Al's I-90, the Coffee Cup, Plank Inn, or the Sinclair gas station. He might have been passionate about politics, too, but we won't go there!

Jerry loved spending every minute with Susie, canning and cooking with her, making all their cherished family recipes, and decades working together in the bee yards. Most conversations with Jerry led back to what he ate for supper or what he planned to eat for dinner. He loved pimentos & cheese, brisket, peach cobbler with cream, bread pudding, Famous Dave's, flat bacon, and the proper way to stack a hamburger. In every town he frequented, he had a favorite store where he would stop to buy a local delicacy (one of the grandkid's favorite stories). Together, Jerry and Susie loved spoiling their puppies with Jerry often feeding them from his dinner plate and bringing home leftovers.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Susie; five children: Steve (Debbie) Bickley, South Weber, UT, Julie (Bill) Myers, Pocatello, ID, Paul (Jodi) Bickley, Layton, UT, David (Nancy) Bickley, Pocatello, ID, and Karen (Clay) Dorsey, Pocatello, ID; brothers, Wayne (Betty) Bickley, Salt Lake, UT, and Mike (Laurie) Bickley, Pocatello, ID; father-in-law, Roger Schipke, Aberdeen, SD; sisters-in-law: Tammy (Myron) Steffen, Mt. Vernon, SD, Peggy (David) Brink, Farmington, MN, and Cindy (Leo) Fleckenstein, Aberdeen, SD; and brother-in-law, Doug Nowak, Sioux Falls, SD.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; older brother and his wife, Eldon and Theresa Bickley; younger brother, James Bickley; grandson, Jared Stromberg; mother-in-law, Ruby Schipke; and sister-in-law, Debi Nowak.

Jerry leaves behind a beautiful legacy and will be missed dearly.

"Dad gum you" was a loved phrase Jerry used frequently, especially if you got his goat! Dad gum you, Jerry, for leaving us. We will never forget you and will love you forever! 10-4 and out!

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Plankinton Fire Department and Ambulance Service.


Sunday, October 15, 2023
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Plankinton Fire Department
Plankinton, SD


South Dakota Veterans Cemetery
Sioux Falls, SD

Posted by Linda Hodges on October 22, 2023
So sorry for your loss. My condolences to the families. He was a great man. My brother Dean Wolfe worked with him and had a lot of good times with him. He was loved by all who knew him
Posted by Juanita and David Edinger on October 15, 2023
Sending our condolences. Jerry was a kind man and always pleasant to visit. God bless you.
Posted by Carmen (Heezen) and Ruben Lapp on October 10, 2023
Sending hugs and prayers to Susie and the family of Jerry. Our heartfelt sympathy to all.
Posted by Shannon Brooks on October 10, 2023
So many memories…. Karen was my bestie all growing up and I couldn’t wait for her to come back to Plank in the summer. We would ride our bikes to the bee company almost every day. It was nothing to walk in there with all the bees flying around and they wouldn’t bother us a bit. I can remember one summer night being out at the baseball games and Jerry coming out to pick us up during a storm. He put our bikes in the back and just as we were passing Cazer’s place lightning struck their house. “Dad gum” was a frequent phase out of Jerry’s mouth. He was an awesome man and father. His family was everything and he loved Susie with his whole heart. RIP Jerry….I long life well lived!
Posted by Sam Pryor on October 9, 2023
I have many memories of Jerry since I was a young girl from having coffee with him and the crew to eventually working at the cafe and seeing him daily. I will never forget when I was in high school and was stuck in snow and both Jerry and Susie came and pushed me out. We were so lucky to have him in the community.
Posted by Rod & Diana Descombaz on October 8, 2023
So sorry for your loss of a very special guy. He will be missed by many!! Hugs sent to you all
Posted by Anna Capell on October 8, 2023
Julie and Bill and your beautiful family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. So sorry for your loss. I love you all 😘♥️♥️😇😇
Posted by Eric christensen on October 8, 2023
What I remember cheese on fruit cake pimiento and cheese talking around the kitchen table going to joes second hand store how to properly fix a hamburger and of course dad gum you thanks uncle Jerry you will be missed tell we meet again thanks for the memories
Posted by Steve and Wende Stuart on October 8, 2023
So sorry for the loss of your Father Julie and Dave. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. My God cradle you in his arms.
Posted by Patty Bickley on October 8, 2023
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Jerry. He was a very dear brother-in-law. A kinder man would be hard to find.
My heart goes out to Susie, his kids, grandkids and the rest that I never met.
May he rest in peace
Posted by Julie Myers on October 8, 2023
My heart is broken , but know I will be with you again . Love you so much Dad, so blessed to have wonderful memories to hold on to.
Posted by Becky Angell on October 8, 2023
Rest in peace Unle Jerry! So many memories!Sending my love to you all!
Posted by Katie Thompson on October 7, 2023
I will miss you so much uncle Jerry. I’ll always have so many memories of fishing with you and hanging out together. You’ll always be one of my favorite uncle’s. Rest in peace and I’ll always love you. Susie I’m thinking of you and you’re in my prayers.
Posted by Tori Bickley on October 7, 2023
We’ll miss you Grandpa! Thank you to the community around Plankinton for the love and support shown to the family and Susie during this difficult time. We all feel very blessed. Rest in peace grandpa, love you so much!
Posted by Lori Herman on October 7, 2023
So sorry for you loss Susie thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
Posted by Wayne Bickley on October 7, 2023
Jerry was my older brother, and a very good brother. He was always there to help in any way or make a suggestion on a better way to do it. You couldn’t ask for a better brother! RIP Jerry, you’ll always be in my memory.
Posted by Jodi Bickley on October 7, 2023
Jerry was a wonderful man! He was always so good to me and included me as one of his own! He was a man who was passionate about so many things, especially delicious treats and food, but his most favorite thing to do was share with everyone! I bet he has a little tote of fudge in heaven! We love you! Rest peaceful Jerry.
Posted by Alice johnson on October 7, 2023
One in a million! So giving and kind! He left lots of good memories for sooo many!
Posted by R & A Pryor on October 7, 2023
Jerry was a special one of a kind man that we all have fond memories of! Our thoughts and prayers are with Susie and all of the family during this time of loss.
Posted by Joe Christensen on October 6, 2023
Sorry for your loss. Jerry was such a wonderful and helpful man. Kinda like a dad or big brother to me. God bless
Posted by Jolene Johnson on October 6, 2023
So sorry for your loss
Posted by Charlie and Darlene Bailey on October 6, 2023
Sorry to hear about Jerry's passing Always was good to see him come in the shoe shop Rest in Peace 🙏
Posted by Shirley Keizer on October 6, 2023
MY sympathy Jerry was such a pleasant man!
Posted by Holly Langner on October 5, 2023
I love you guys! Iam so sorry!
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