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Gerald  "Jerry" F. Retzloff

Obituary for Gerald "Jerry" F. Retzloff

January 4, 1940 - March 10, 2020
San Antonio, Texas | Age 80

Obituary

Jerry was born in San Antonio, Texas to Walter (Red) and Celia Retzloff. He was raised on the Southeast side of town, proudly attending Central Catholic High School. Upon graduation, Jerry decided to join the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in San Francisco, California. He enjoyed the USCG and often spoke pridefully of being the only coasty to have never gotten seasick on his ship despite numerous significant storms on his watch. During one storm, he wagered everyone their once-a-week ration of steak that he would not get seasick – he won the bet and ate steaks daily for over a month.

Upon returning from the USCG, he came back to San Antonio and joined Lone Star Brewery in 1963. He loved his job at Lone Star Beer, working on the dock, the accounting office, and ultimately ending up in marketing and special promotions. While at Lone Star in his early years, he also earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from St. Mary's University. In the mid 1970s, he became the district manager for Lone Star in Austin, Texas. He worked passionately to grow the brand through the burgeoning Austin music scene. Jerry identified with the younger crowd and made connections quickly - enjoying music, meeting people, building relationships and promoting the "National Beer of Texas". He developed many bonds with musicians from the area including Kinky Friedman, Red Stegall, Charlie Daniels, and, among others, his lifelong friend, Willie Nelson.

Jerry originated the concept of calling beer bottles "long necks" and promoted the idea of "Long Live Long Necks". He was especially proud to have been featured in an article for Texas Monthly (2014) entitled "Bottle Rocket" - an amazing article on how Jerry built the Lone Star brand through music, unique promotions and his travels from Austin to Nashville to Hollywood. To cap his legendary career in the beer/music business, a phenomenal exhibit was created in his honor at Texas State University - Bill Wittliff collection/museum.

After retiring with 34 years at Lone Star Beer, Jerry pursued his hobby of fishing and telling stories on frequent trips to the Rockport area. He also served in the hospital ministry at the downtown Baptist Hospital for 26 years. Having built a vast network of friends over the years, he genuinely enjoyed people, had a servant's heart, was kind to all and never encountered a stranger. His trademark phrase of "Not to Worry" stuck with him until the end.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and three brothers whom he loved dearly, Walt, Stanley, and Maurice. He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Sally; two wonderful children, Troy (Jennifer) Retzloff, and Jill (Don) Aboff; two intelligent granddaughters, Bailey and Madison Retzloff; as well as numerous extended family members; and nieces and nephews that he also loved unconditionally.

The family wishes to thank Amada Senior Care, especially Yolanda Garza. They also wish to thank the extended team at the main Methodist Hospital for their concern, support and passion for patient care.

Services are pending at this time.

Services Pending. Please check back for further information.


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2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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