CHERRY VALLEY — Julius Earll Waller (Jerry), 96, died peacefully March 27, 2013, at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, his family at his side.

Born in Schenectady on Dec. 20, 1916, Jerry was known for his enduring curiosity of the world.

Waller married Anne Bigelow Thomson (Nancy) of Nanking, China, April 4, 1943, in Kearney, Neb., where he was stationed. He was an officer in the 8th Army Air Force during World War II (1941 to 1946) and served in England and the Ukraine.

Jerry taught French and Latin and coached varsity tennis, ice hockey and football at South Kent School, South Kent, Conn., for 35 years. The Wallers were vibrant members of both the campus and Kent communities.

He graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude (1939) and then studied for a year at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland. In 1959, he completed graduate studies with honors at the University of Poitiers in France, where he and his young family were living during a two-year sabbatical.

In 1974 to 1975, he and Nancy spent time in Toulouse, France, teaching English to air traffic controllers. Over the years, the family continued great travels and camped throughout France, the U.S., and Canada.

Jerry and his family spent many summers in Roseboom, where he established a model tree farm on his land, consulting with the NY State Department of Forestry from 1948 through the present. This love of nature extended from his woods, berries and open land to his vegetable gardens; like Voltaire’s Candide, one of his greatest pleasures was “cultivating his garden.”

In 1983, Jerry and Nancy retired to Cherry Valley, and restored one of the village’s historic homes, Willow Hill (1793).

He served for many years on the Cherry Valley Planning Board. Eventually the Wallers moved back to Roseboom, where he continued his forestry, gardening and the restoration of an 1852 family barn.

In 2001, the Roseboom Historical Association awarded Jerry The Person Who Makes a Difference Award for “...a long-term commitment to good forest management and stewardship.”

In 2012, Jerry received an Otsego 2000 historic preservation award for exemplary adaptive reuse of his historic barn.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 70 years, Nancy; three daughters, Anne Seabury Waller Auerbach (Brookline, Mass.), Sydney Lancaster Waller (Cooperstown), and Margaret Waller Burhoe (Brookline, Mass.); and six grandchildren, Peter, David, Jocelyn, Rebecca, Samuel and Anna.

Keeping up with his beloved children and grandchildren was one of his greatest joys.

He leaves a broad circle of devoted Waller/Thomson nieces and nephews, cherished friends; French “cousins,” and former SKS students in the U.S., and France.

A celebration of his life will be held in Roseboom later this spring.

To send condolences or light a candle, visit

Arrangements were entrusted to the Ottman Funeral Home, Cherry Valley.

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