Honoring a Hometown Hero
JAMESTOWN - Emergency responders joined family and friends on Monday at the Basilica of St. James in Jamestown to pay respect to the late Gerald "Jerry" Kainz. Kainz, age 70 and a 46-year veteran of the Jamestown City Fire Department and Deputy Fire Chief, died one week ago of natural causes at Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

A full cadre of fire-fighting vehicles was joined by vehicles from Jamestown Ambulance, Stutsman County Sheriff and Jamestown Police.

The steps of St. James Basilica was filled with civilians and uniformed mourners. This shot taken just as the emergency responders began moving into their own vehicles.

Kainz was carried to his final resting place in this vintage fire engine.

Obituary (As provided by Eddy Funeral Home):

Gerald “Jerry” Kainz, 70, Jamestown, ND, died July 7 at his home in Jamestown. Jerry was born on July 14, 1943, in Dickinson, ND, to Jacob and Thresia (Miller) Kainz and was the oldest of their 5 children. He attended Green River 15 rural grammar school, graduated from Dickinson State College Campus High School in 1961, and attended the North Dakota State School of Science (Wahpeton).

He enlisted in the US Air Force in 1961 and was honorably discharged after basic training in San Antonio, TX. Jerry returned to Dickinson to work for Sears as a repairman and was transferred to Jamestown in 1963. After Sears, he worked at Tony’s Electric and Arneson’s Plumbing & Heating. Jerry married Nadine Barta in Dickinson on May 27, 1968, and on the same day, joined the Jamestown Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter.

In 1975, Jerry and his family started their own business, Refrigeration Service. In 1981, Jerry sold the business and joined Jamestown Hospital as its Director of Plant Operations, retiring in 2008. Jerry continued with the Jamestown Fire Department and was appointed Deputy Chief in 2010, a role he proudly filled until his death.

He was a member of and served on several community, professional and civic boards, organizations, and clubs including the ND Fire Chiefs Assn., Local Emergency Planning Commission, Jamestown Fine Arts Center, Unison Bank Good Neighbors Club, University of Jamestown Friends of the Arts Society, Salvation Army Board, Basilica of St. James, Frontier Village Board, Calvary Cemetery Board, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society, ND Hospital Assn., Eagles Club FOE, American Legion, Elks Club, the Boy Scouts of America, and numerous local and regional engineering and emergency management groups and committees.

Jerry is survived by his wife Nadine, his son, Chad J. Kainz, Monterey CA, and his four siblings: Leo (Marge) Kainz, Darlene (Erling) Haugland, Arnold (Mavis) Kainz, and Dorene (Jeff) Larson.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jerry can be made to either the Jamestown Arts Center or the Jamestown Volunteer Firefighters Fund at the Jamestown Fire Department.