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  • Alumni
Jerry Stocking ‘43: 98 Years of Living Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge

In May of 2024, Jerry Stocking ‘43, age 98, attended Catholic Central’s Legacy Reunion for graduates 50 years or more removed. The reunion included Mass in the Chapel followed by lunch in the cafeteria. 

We were able to sit down with Jerry and talk about what it was like to attend Catholic Central High School over 80 years ago. He shared some of his favorite memories with us, including what daily life was like as a Shamrock in the ‘40’s. 

When he was a student, Jerry explained that tuition was $60 per year. He had five brothers who all went to Catholic Central High School and a sister who attended St. Pat’s. 

The school day started with Mass at 8:00 a.m. After school, he took the bus home and went straight to work at a grocery store where the money he made went straight to his family. 

Although he wasn’t too involved in student activities, Jerry stated that he made a lot of friends at Catholic Central, and he remembers many of his classmates. 

During his time at Catholic Central, Jerry recalls the compassion he experienced from the Basilian priests. “They took an interest in each and every one of us. We didn't have that big of a class, but they took interest in us. And as a result, that interest built up into being somebody that you could confide in,” he stated.  

“I look at those pictures of those priests on the wall out here. I remember so many of those priests. Father Whelan was the principal when I got there.” Jerry recalled.

“The last contact I had with any Basilian was Father Martin and Father Elmer. Father Elmer was a great, great priest. I love Father Elmer. I had the pleasure of working for him for a few years. He attended our 50th graduation party and he always put on a good show. He was a class of 46, a few years after us. Anyhow, but those are the things I remember. And even though there were good times and bad times, I always remember my education I had [at CC],” Jerry stated.  

After graduation, Jerry went into the Army Air Force. “I became a pilot shortly before the war ended. When I got out, I applied at the airlines, but they looked at me as a 20-year-old kid and I had a hard time finding a job. But anyhow I went into the automotive business and started out at a US rubber company making tires. My shift was the first shift and then I switched to the overnight shift. I lasted there for three months. But what I remember, I was on a date and this gal said, ‘You smell like a tire. I think I'm going to get out of here.’ Anyhow, I started at Ford and Chrysler. I ended up with General Motors and I retired there after 33 years at age 60 and have been doing quite well since. I’ve got a good family. I had a wonderful wife for 67 years, and five boys and two girls.”

The 2024 Legacy Reunion was one of five different reunions Jerry has attended at Catholic Central. He also attended his 45th and 50th reunions. 

Currently, Jerry spends much of his time with family. He has 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He’s also active within his senior community residence and enjoys when his daughter visits him daily. We look forward to seeing Jerry at next year’s reunion!

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Jerry Stocking ‘43: 98 Years of Living Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge

Jerry Stocking ‘43, age 98, attended Catholic Central’s Legacy Reunion for graduates 50 years or more removed. We were able to sit down with Jerry and talk about what it was like to attend Catholic Central High School over 80 years ago. He shared some of his favorite memories with us, including what daily life was like as a Shamrock in the ‘40’s. 

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