In high school, Ryan M. Jerabek ran track, was an honor student and enjoyed working on computers. He joined the Marines a month after graduation and dreamed of returning to the school to teach world history.
“He believed in this country,” said his father, Ken Jerabek. “He was a perfect, perfect young gentleman and a great Marine.”
Pfc. Jerabek, 18, of Oneida, Wis., was killed April 6 in a hostile attack in a battle with insurgents. He was based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Jerabek joined the Marines in July, a month after graduating from high school. He was following his father, who served in the Army in the Vietnam War.
Pfc. Ryan M. Jerabek, USMC, 18, Village of Hobart, provided the ultimate sacrifice Tuesday, April 6, 2004, while serving his country in Ramadi, Iraq. He was born May 9, 1985, to Kenneth and Rita (Clausen) Jerabek in Green Bay. Ryan was a 2003 graduate of Pulaski High School, where he ran track. He loved reading and history, planning to become a history teacher someday. One of Ryan’s dreams was to explore our nation’s birthplace of independence and liberty. He walked the Freedom Trail in Boston with his mother and Aunt Pat in November, 2001. Ryan was proud of his heritage and especially drawn to his Irish heritage. He treasured his trip to Ireland with his brother, Aaron, in November, 2001, exploring castles, fields and meadows. Much of Ryan’s time was spent on computers, ‘gaming’ with others across the country but most often sharing time with his brother, Nick, who he loved dearly. Ryan loved his country and strived to be the best Marine he could be, wanting to make a difference in the world. He showed maturity beyond his years. Survivors include his parents, Ken and Rita, Oneida; two brothers, Aaron, Milwaukee and Nicholas at home; maternal grandparents, Alfred and Sarah Clausen, Green Bay; paternal grandparents, Gene and Madlyn Jerabek, Green Bay; paternal great-grandfather, Jule Gilson; aunts and uncles, Patricia Zeitler and fianc?, Dr. Gregory Thatcher, Shawano; Michael and Pam Clausen, Green Bay; Kathleen and Bill Gehrke, Ishpeming, MI; Shawn and Pam Clausen, Kewaunee; Dale Jerabek, Green Bay; and Kaye Jerabek, Green Bay; many cousins, other relatives and friends, including his best friend, Lance Corporal Mike Andrews, USMC. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sara, and great-grandmother, Blanche Gilson. Friends may call from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M. Thursday, April 15, at Green Bay Community Church, 600 Cardinal Lane, Howard. Visitation will continue after 10:00 A.M. Friday at the church where funeral services will take place at 11:00 A.M. with the Rev. Erik Roddan officiating. Military honors and interment will follow at Nicolet Memorial Gardens. Lyndahl Funeral Home, Green Bay, is serving the family. (www.lyndahl.com) The Marine Corp was an important part of Ryan’s life. We continue to honor and thank them everyday for their selfless service to our country. Semper Fi