Jerry Ehlers was a man unlike any other. When I first met him, I was just a boy, whose family had recently moved to a remote farming community in Utah. Jerry was from Valley Fair, California and instrumental in getting a number of people to move into the valley (40+). At the time 1976, he was the father of a family of girls and instigated many fun activities and invited us along: a trip to Miners Basin in the LaSals, Fourth of July picnics in the mountains, visiting at his home, and working for him on the farm. He always treated me as an equal and made my experience there even more enjoyable.
He was a big man, and his heart was equally enormous. He painted on canvas, murals on walls, and in the hearts of the people around him. In this farming community there was no way to make a living, so Jerry would regularly travel to California for weeks at a time to do his painting and make enough money that he could come back to the valley and work building his farm and his family for months on end.
A couple hotels in Moab have Jerry's murals on their room walls or at least they used to. The Castle Valley Inn was renovated from the home he built. He is deserving of a comprehensive memoir, but sadly I have only had time to write a few lines regarding Jerry and his family. Kathryn Wardenski published a story about the preservation of Jerry's art work .
His family was mostly girls but later also included a boy. His wife Johanna is Jerry's pride-and-joy. She still lives in Castle Valley, I believe. I speak of him in the past tense, because we lost him when he suffered a heart attack many years ago. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of homes and hotels in the western United States adorn Jerry's paintings. And a few of us have had his memory painted on our hearts, as well.
It's been so long that I have lost track of many in their family, but that should give you an idea of Jerry's story.
I hope this is helpful to you.