Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Gerald B. Dentinger

Louisville - After a life of remarkable kindness and service to others, Gerald B. Dentinger passed away at Baptist Hospital East on Monday, April 16, 2018, one week shy of his 85th birthday. 

Jerry was born in Louisville, Kentucky to Vincent and Anna Mary Dentinger. Jerry's youth was enriched by good schooling, athletics and music at St. Francis of Assisi then St. Meinrad Seminary, and by the incomparable experience of growing up in a large, humorous and talented family in "the house on Maryland Avenue." From 1953 to 1959, Jerry spent six defining years studying at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and traveling Europe. His memories of Europe never dimmed; through the power of memory and story he was able to return instantly to the ski slopes, motorcycle tours, and friends of those years -- and take his family along with him. 

He was ordained a priest in Innsbruck then returned to the Louisville Archdiocese, where he served in various roles including Associate Pastor of St. Therese, St. Vincent de Paul, and Our Lady of Lourdes. An accomplished musician, Jerry also directed the choir at Our Lady of Lourdes during those years. Although he left the ministry after 17 years, service would continue to define Jerry's life. He enjoyed a long career in the financial services industry in which he prioritized quality and service to others above personal gain. Jerry directed the choir at St. Brigid from 1991 to 2010. He was a devoted caregiver and companion for his brothers Fr. Junie and Fr. Roy in their declining years. From 1994 to 2001, he researched, compiled and published the genealogy of his family, The Dentinger Family Chronicles: 1650 to 2001. 

But the primary recipients of Jerry's attention and devotion in his last 41 years were his beloved wife and best friend Jane and his children Sarah and Daniel. Jerry's family was profoundly grateful for the life-saving heart surgery in 2004 that allowed him to experience the lives of his grandchildren, all born thereafter. They will forever remember Grandpa's breakfasts, Grandpa's tools, and Grandpa's hugs. Jerry is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jane; two children, Sarah (Michael Merrick) and Daniel (Joyce); six grandchildren, Kramer, Ben and Sam Merrick; and Wesley, Haley and Timmy Dentinger. Jerry is also survived by his brothers Dick, Jim and Jack, and 24 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Vincent and Anna Mary, and his siblings Bob, Fr. Roy, Anna Mae Barrett, Vince ("Fr. Junie"), and Don. The family is very grateful for the years of care provided by Drs. William Dillon and Stacey Waring. The excellent and compassionate ICU care and palliative care by physicians and nurses at Baptist over the last two months exceeded expectations