Gerald Lee Kossow

Nov 24, 1941 - Dec 26, 2019


Gerald “Jerry” Lee Kossow was born on November 24, 1941 in Merced, California to parents Henry Harrison Kossow and Nadine Kate (Hubbard) Kossow, and sister Carol Lynn (Kossow) Nielsen. Nadine was an elementary school teacher and Henry was a teacher, principal, and a Superintendent of Schools at various school districts throughout the State of California. As a teen, Jerry worked as a shoe shine boy at a barber shop and flipped burgers at Lou’s Drive-In in Del Paso Heights. Jerry was known for being very smart and was also quite the prankster. He attended Grant High School in Sacramento and played the trumpet in band, pep band and orchestra. He also served as Student Body President and as a member of the Metropolitan Student Council. While in high school, Jerry met the love of his life, Maria Paulette Ross.

After graduating high school, Jerry attended Bible Baptist College in Springfield, Missouri before returning to Sacramento to marry Paulette and attend California State University, Sacramento, where he earned a degree in psychology. Jerry worked full-time as a probation officer for Sacramento County and attended a night program at the McGeorge School of Law in the early 1970’s while raising his two young children, Kimberly and Timothy, with his wife. During that time he remained very involved in his church.

In 1973, Jerry earned his Juris Doctorate degree at the McGeorge School of Law. After being admitted to the California State Bar in 1974, he established a law practice in downtown Sacramento, specializing as a Certified Family Law Attorney. Jerry was very well-liked and was a prominent attorney in the Sacramento area, serving as the Chair of the Family Law Executive Committee (FLEC) and also as a Pro Tem Judge at the Family Law Courthouse for many years.

In his personal life, Jerry was a faithful husband, father, and grandfather. He adored his wife, Paulette, with whom he shared a beautiful, loving marriage that thrived for 57 years. Jerry cherished his two children, Kimberly Kossow Means and Timothy S. Kossow, and their spouses Brian R. Means and Kimberly Hall Kossow. He was blessed with seven grandchildren (Brittany O’Neill, Mikaela DeWitt, Mikenna Kossow, Alec Means, Danielle Means, Connor Means and Zachary Kossow) and made each of them feel special and loved. He was deeply proud of each and every one of them and often told each of them that they were his “favorite”. Jerry was also blessed with five beautiful great-grandchildren and three wonderful step-grandchildren.

Jerry was admired by his friends and family as an honorable man of great character. He was honest, patient, intelligent, funny, and kind, and was often described by the people who knew him best as ‘the life of the party’. In his earlier adult years, Jerry enjoyed playing golf with his wife and father-in-law, Walter. For many years he was a Kings season ticket holder and enjoyed taking friends and grandkids to games. But Jerry’s favorite pastime was fishing. He loved being on the water in his boat, either on the Delta or at Donner Lake. Family vacations usually involved lots of fishing and water skiing with his kids and their friends, and in his later years, Jerry took several fishing trips to Alaska, one of them with his daughter, Kimberly. Jerry was also blessed with a close-knit group of friends who referred to themselves as ‘The Baja Boys’. They often road tripped together through Baja California, camping and fishing along the way.

Jerry’s last day on this earth was spent with his wife, children, and grandchildren at his bedside, who held his hands, played hymns, prayed over him, and reminisced together. He couldn’t have exited this world feeling any more loved. Jerry passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 26, 2019, and was welcomed with great celebration by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


  • Bob says:

    Remembering Jerry From elementary school with holes in our Levi’s before it became fashionable, pockets full of marbles as we drew circles in the dirt at recess to add to our collection, hitting a ball tied to a pole to see who could wind it up first…and oh yea, learning a few things in between. The last time I saw Jerry was graduating from GHUS, 1959! And so we all went our separate ways. We never know when it’s our time to go home, but in reading the accolades of all his accomplishments it brought me joy to see that he lived a good life with a loving family. But the greater joy was to read that he is now with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Rest in his arms, Jerry A one time classmate, Bobby Rabang

  • Pat & Bob Separovich says:

    Pat & Bob remember playing lots of cards, especially pinocle with Jerry and Paulette. We had fun and are so saddened that he has passed. LOVE

    • Tim Kossow says:

      I remember those nights too. My Dad (and mom) valued your friendship and the time that was spent together! Fond memories!

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