Former Oak Ridge Mayor Jerry Kuhaida died at home Monday after a hard-fought battle with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, according to his obituary. He was 74.
Kuhaida was elected to the Oak Ridge City Council twice, serving from 1991-1995 and from 1997-2003. He served one term as mayor.
Kuhaida continued his passion for community and local government development while serving as a consultant in Russia and working with the U.S. Agency for International Development/U.S. State Department, assisting the U.S. Army’s development efforts in Iraq, his obituary said.
Andrew “Jerry” Jerome Kuhaida Jr. was born on September 29, 1942, in Wheeling, West Virginia. He had bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology and a doctorate in geography/geology, according to his obituary. He started his lengthy career in environmental restoration and hazardous waste remediation after returning to Oak Ridge in 1980, the obituary said. He served on several local boards and committees, including the Environmental Quality Advisory Board and the Scarboro Community Day Care Center Board.
Kuhaida is survived by his wife of 49 years, Delores Kuhaida; sister Carol Sue Drummond and husband Clyde of Clinton; son Steven Kuhaida and wife Marina of San Antonio, Texas; daughter Carrie Kuhaida Sessions of Kingston, and son Kevin Kuhaida of Oak Ridge; grandson Roman Kuhaida of San Antonio, and granddaughters Kylie and Kimber Kuhaida of Oak Ridge; and several loving nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life with Randy Hammer officiating is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, January 4, 2017, at the United Church, Chapel on the Hill in Oak Ridge. A reception/receiving of friends will be held in the Fellowship Hall afterward at 2:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Kuhaida’s life, the obituary said. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Cole Neuroscience Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center online or by mail Attn: Development Office, 2121 Medical Center Way, Suite 100, Knoxville, TN 37920.
You can read the full obituary and leave online condolences at jacksonfuneralservices.com.