By Ken Green
Jerry Lee Virtue, 72, of Wilton, CA died suddenly Feb. 8, 2015 of natural causes. He was born in Battle Creek, Iowa, on Nov. 16, 1942 and had lived in Wilton since 1978.
Jerry was a construction manager for Citation Builders for 25 years and a machinist for Cope Manufacturing for 10 years.
He was an active member of Early Day Gas Engine and Tractor Association, Inc. He was a member of Branch 13 in the Sacramento, CA area and served as President for four years, Vice President for one year and on the Board of Directors for five years. He was the president of Branch 13 when the branch hosted the 1993 EDGE&TA National Show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, CA. His leadership and coordination of activities made this one of the most memorable National Shows ever. He was the Branch 13 Show Director at the Amador County Fair for 12 years. He was an avid engine restorer and his collection ranged from small to large engines. One of his rare prized engines was a Virtue and Pound which he proudly displayed at the Amador County Fair.
He was also a member of Branch 49 located in the California gold rush foothills and served as Branch President for three years and on the Board of Directors for five years. Branch 49 hosted the 1999 Southwest Regional Show at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds in Angles Camp, CA.
He was a member of the Amador County Sawmill & Mining Association and worked several years restoring and operating the steam powered sawmill at the Amador County Fairgrounds. He was very passionate in promoting an appreciation for our country’s agricultural and mining heritage. He especially enjoyed passing on the historical significance of this era to our new and younger members.
Jerry was the oldest of 13 children and is survived by his loving wife Marianne; children, Kenneth, Randy, Todd and Christie; four grandchildren; eight brothers and sisters; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings.