Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On February 4, 2012, Jerry McFetridge passed away in his sleep in his home in Clarksburg, CA. While our family is heartbroken over his sudden death, we are comforted by the fact that Dad lived life to the fullest. Jerry was one-of-a-kind and is loved immensely. He will be missed greatly and remembered for his intelligent mind, indisputable work ethic, hilarious antics, wry sense of humor, generous and caring spirit, kindness and devotion to everyone around him, and, most of all, his love of life. This blog will serve as a tribute page for those who wish to communicate in this way. We would love to hear your stories. Send your Jerry stories, memories, photos, etc. to for inclusion, or make comments under individual entries.

The memorial service for Jerry will be held on Friday, February 24th from 4-7pm at the Sterling Hotel, 1300 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Information for donations to preserve the Victory Trees in his honor will be posted soon.


  1. I first met Jerry when he was a Democratic Consultant just after Ronald Reagan became Governor. In my work in the Legislative Analyst Office I became aware of a major Administration play to turn the then nascent Santa Monica Mountains Park into a state recreation area which was to include hotels, shopping centers, a motorcycle camp ground, rifle range (no danger there given the MCG); and dozens of other "concepts" which would have turned the Park into a kind of adult Disney Land north fundamentally at tax payer's expense. In despair, I mentioned it to Jerry. I have never seen anyone this side of my experience in the Viet Nam war mobilize, as fast as, Jerry. Within days he not only developed a legislative strategy, and built state, regional, and local policy and political alliances; but found an investigative reporter from the Bee who was willing to take Jerry's insights and reveal the full extent of the "enterprise" . By the time Jerry got done with it, the entire project - characterized as a major scam in the Bee, L A Times, Chron,, and as far as I know the Carmichael Green Sheets - cratered and went down in every subcommittee and committee which heard the matter not to mention the screams heard across the West Side of LA. The Santa Monica Mountain National Recreation Area (entirely different from the original state concept) owes its existence to Jerry pure and simple.

    Jerry was as honorable, smart and tough as they come. His ability to pour energy into a cause was unique.

    I was honored to call Jerry a colleague, but even more so a true comrade - in - arms.

    God Bless You Jerry.

    Requescat in pace.

    Gene Varanini

  2. I’m told that Jerry passed away on the birthday of the late Assemblyman Dick Floyd, for whom he worked for many years. Dick died a few months ago, but Jerry is now keeping him company in the great beyond. I’ve known Jerry for several decades from the time I was with the LA Times and he was one of the most decent aides around the Capitol, later as a Senate staffer and finally as a friend. In recent years, I’ve been part of a regular Thursday breakfast group that met at Executive Airport. Most of the folks are retired from the newspaper world. Jerry fit right in, though, sharing his own stories. I will always remember that even as he sat down he’d be brought a glass of orange juice and no matter what was going on with him you wouldn’t know because Jerry had a hearty smile on his face. He always brought good cheer and the group was anxious to hear about his latest adventure in Mexico or his planned bike trip to Vietnam. There will be an empty chair at the table come Thursday, waiting for Jerry to fill it. But he’ll be in heaven sipping a glass of good wine and telling Dick Floyd to calm down. I will lift a glass to Jerry myself. He will be missed.

    Mark Gladstone

  3. Jerry is one of those men I never forget! His voice and twinkling eyes I always will see and he forever had this hint of mischief about him which makes me smile even now.

    Oh and yes, it is still special to me that he is the only date that ever took me to Biba’s Resturant!!

    I was so happy to read the recent article in the Sacramento Bee about the grove of trees and to see how great Jerry looked.

    Let’s get that Victory Lane going, now there is a second good reason to do it.

    It is for sure Jerry lived his life to the fullest and he is greatly loved by so many of us.

    Susan Z’berg

  4. Jerry will be remembered as one of the all time great guys. He was a wonderful human being and also a great friend for 44 years. We will miss you buddy.

    John Drews

  5. An old and dear friend from the BT Collins extended family. One of a kind with one liners that always made you laugh. Jerry, i know you are upstairs closing down a bar with BT & Jack Dugan and laughing at all of us down here! Bless you my friend.

    Paula Treat

  6. My condolences to the family. I truly enjoyed my years working with Jerry, drinking good wine and helping him play pranks on others. Peace to you, Jerry.

    Debbie Norton Johnson

  7. The world is going to be a lot duller without Jerry McFetridge gone. Less funny. Less kind. And yes, less acerbic. He was a great lover and appreciater of all people, but most particularly, women.

    I have his last text to me, which I did not delete (I forgot) and every once in a while I get a reminder "From Jerry". It sort of keeps him around for me.

    "His life was gentle, and the elements
    So mixed in him that all Nature might stand up
    And say to the World 'This was a man'"
    (Julius Caesar, Act V, Scene V)

    John Grattan