Jerry Lasecki

When Jerry was 5 years old he was stricken with Polio and became paralyzed from the neck down. His parents had to feed him every meal, take care of his other needs and administer his therapy.

After the onset of polio, he was confined to a hospital bed. Jerry recalls getting pneumonia several times in that first year. At 6 years of age, he moved to a foster home in Green Bay and enrolled in Howe School, where he attended 1st through 6th grades. Jerry attended class half days and received therapy the other half. As a result of long days and hard work, he slowly regained the use of his arms. As soon as he was physically able, Jerry began using a wheelchair. On weekends, he would return home to the Hofa Park family farm to spend time with his family.

Beginning in 7th grade, Jerry attended Glenbrook Elementary School in Pulaski. He had fallen behind academically because of his inability to attend full days. For Jerry to regain his academic losses, he repeated 7th grade. Transportation to and from the farm in Hofa Park to Glenbrook School in Pulaski was provided by a teacher and friend, Emil Ripley. In the Fall of 1968, Jerry began Pulaski High School. Another teacher, Mr. Michael Hash, willingly took over the responsibility of providing his transportation. After receiving his driver’s license, brother Larry transported Jerry to and from school until Larry’s graduation. Jerry’s brother Greg then assumed the responsibility of taking Jerry to and from school until they graduated together from Pulaski High School in 1972.

While in High School, Jerry was the Wrestling Manager for 4 years. He was not your average wrestling manager! He was an inspiration to every wrestler, mentally and spiritually. In those 4 years, the wrestling team had great success. They won four conference championships, followed by championships of Invitationals, Regionals and Sectional Tournaments. In 1969, the Team finished in second place at the WIAA State Tournament.

He studied faithfully in high school making the honor roll all four years. After graduating, Jerry went to Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College, earning a Business Associate Degree. He started working at Pulaski Chase Co-op as a Finance Management Associate. In 1982, Jerry was very proud he was able to get his driver’s license and gained his independence from the dreaded polio. The freedom to drive himself anywhere he needed to go was very gratifying. After the first Packer Stadium renovation, Jerry won the lottery and became a proud owner of a four Packer ticket package. He is one of many Packer Super Fans that make the Lambeau experience what it is today.

After 33 years of working for the Pulaski Chase Co-op, he retired with an aging disability program benefit. He resides in Shawano in a wheelchair accessible house. Because of Jerry’s background in finance, he serves as the Power of Attorney for his mother’s estate. In his wheelchair accessible van, Jerry drives military veterans to medical appointments several times a month—including veterans that have appointments at the Milwaukee VA Hospital.

Jim Richie recruited Jerry to accompany him and son Gary to talk to the Rawhide Boys Ranch students about building self-confidence, achieving goals, and overcoming overwhelming mental and physical hardships. Jerry also speaks to nursing students at Menominee College, as well at the Green Bay and Shawano campuses, about care-giving for physically handicapped wheelchair persons.

Jerry’s family was and continues to be a positive influence on his life. His parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews are a close-knit family. Jerry enjoys watching his nieces and nephews compete in their sporting and other activities. Jerry is also a “number 1 fan” of the Chad Przybylski Polka Rhythms Band, going to as many band bookings as time allows.

Jerry’s, teachers, classmates, and the Pulaski community have positively influenced him throughout his lifetime. Thanks to Jim Richie, Don Hartman, his family, and good friends—Jerry exemplifies leadership learned by their example. Also, he thrives on Christian qualities that have guided him through his life of challenges.

Jerry is a true inspiration to everyone. He feels he has been blessed by all the people he has known. He is receiving this award in the presence of all the extraordinary family, friends and the wrestling families that are here in attendance. Jerry feels humbled, honored and blessed, as do all of us who know him.