Jerry Ronald Choate: 1943–2009

Finck, E. J., H. H. Genoways, J. D. Hoffman, C. J. Philips, and R. J. Baker

On 9 December 2009 the science of mammalogy lost one of its most unique and dearest leaders. Jerry Ronald Choate lost his battle with cancer at the home of his son Judd in Denver, attended by his wife Fi and other family members, while awaiting a gene therapy trial for melanoma, which originally was detected in 2003. He was born on 21 March 1943 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, the sole son of Alyce J. Cox and F. L. ‘‘Lucky’’ Choate. His father died in World War II, and his mother later married C. W. ‘‘Woody’’ Marks. In his autobiographical article (185, When People Ask What I Do, I Say I Study Bats and Rats) Jerry described his stepfather as a hard working draftsman for Phillips Petroleum Company and his mother as a stay-at-home mom. He is survived by his wife, Rosemary Fidelis Walker, and son, Judd Randolph, daughter-in-law, Lyn Kathlene, and 2 granddaughters, Mahlon and Jacqueline Rosemary. In the announcement of his Dad’s passing Judd wrote: ‘‘While we are deeply saddened by his death, knowing that he lived the life he wanted, married the perfect woman—literally the girl next door—and made so many amazing contributions to his chosen area of study makes it a little easier. During his last days I read him the notes that many of his friends and colleagues had sent, and we talked about his life. While he generally kept it to himself, my Dad was intensely proud of the life he led and contributions he made to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays
State University, and the study of mammalogy.’’ 

Finck, E. J., H. H. Genoways, J. D. Hoffman, C. J. Philips, and R. J. Baker. 2011. Jerry Ronald Choate: 1943–2009. Journal of Mammalogy 92(6):1418-1432.