Gerald James Oats, Chief Standing (Center Pole), 60, of Pocatello, passed away on Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello from complications due to lingering illness.
Jerry was born on Jan. 9, 1951, in Fort Belknap, Mont., to Dan and Flora (LaMere) Oats. He grew up in Pingree and graduated from Blackfoot High School. He participated in baseball and other sports and was very athletic. He received a bachelor’s degree in Government and Computer Science from Idaho State University.
Jerry was a member of the Chippewa Cree Indian Tribe out of Rocky Boy, Mont. He loved horses, and all other animals, and especially in his recent years his cat Sophie. He thoroughly enjoyed life, spending time fishing, camping, watching sports, and going to the horse races. Jerry was very athletic and an exceptional baseball player and youth baseball coach. Gardening and spending time with his immediate and extended family were some of his main joys of life, and he took much pride in his grandchildren. Jerry was always smiling, and he had lots of friends and was loved by everyone who knew him.
Jerry was married to Susan Smith on March 30, 2001, and had been happily married for almost 10 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Flora Oats.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Oats, Pocatello; brother, Gordon Oats, Bellingham, Wash.; sisters, Mary/Kenny Broncho and Loretta Oats, Fort Hall; daughter, Carrie Oats, Homer, Alaska; son, Aaron/Elisa Oats, Shelley; stepson, K.J./Kim Slayton, Blackfoot; stepdaughter, Erica Slayton/ Sean Vaughn; and his four grandchildren, Fred, Calvin, and Vienna Oats, and Kylie Jo Slayton, with one more due in September.
Family and friends may attend a traditional Chippewa Cree wake and service any time between Tuesday morning, March 22, through Wednesday morning, March 23, at the Eagles’ Lodge in Gibson, south of Blackfoot. Cremation will follow.
In lieu of flowers please send donations for funeral costs to Susan Oats, 1533 Bench Rd., Pocatello, ID 83201.