Jerry A. Kotulla MD died unexpectedly on March 29, 2022 in Asheville, North Carolina. He was born in Chicago, IL on January 9, 1949. He was preceded in death by his parents, Norbert J. Kotulla and Katherine M. Kotulla (Simon) and his brother Sgt. Michael J. Kotulla (Vietnam). Jerry is survived by his sister, Wendy M. Kotulla (Lori K. Rieth) and numerous friends and extended family.
For almost 25 years Jerry practiced Pain Management medicine in Johnson City, TN and Arden, Tryon and Mars Hill, NC before retiring from his practice in March of 2021. He was very committed to his patients’ needs and to providing a positive environment for his practice partners and staff. Many of his patients might remember a particular “staff” member, office mascot and Jerry’s favorite furry friend, Riley.
Jerry was also very involved with the communities he lived and worked in. He served as a board member for approximately 9 years on his condominium homeowners association and really enjoyed that community which he called home for over 20 years.
It is difficult to capture the essence of Jerry’s spirit in a few words. In the full life he led, he developed a wide variety of interests. While in TN and NC, he loved golfing, hiking and contra dancing. He loved art and music festivals including the Jonesborough, TN Storytelling Festival, LEAF festival, the Swannanoa Gathering, Highland Games, attending events at the Biltmore and a variety of equestrian events in the Tryon, NC area. Many of those events were spent with various close friends who became like family and joining with his lifelong friends were in fact his “framily”.
Jerry had an insatiable curiosity and a sharp mind. He was always exploring new ideas, was a great problem-solver, and he never stopped learning new things. In the last few years, he was exploring spirituality and his relationship with God. He was a loyal and good hearted soul.
The first half of Jerry’s life was spent in Chicago, IL. In his High School and College years, Jerry found his lifelong friends. His interests then included figure skating, tennis and golf. After graduating from Holy Cross High School in 1967 he attended the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He graduated with an electrical engineering degree. He and several of his IIT classmates went to work at Sargent and Lundy after graduation. Jerry worked there for several years in the 1970’s. Then he decided to change his career path and enrolled at the University of Illinois medical school, graduating in 1985. In 1991 he left Chicago to pursue his Pain Management specialty. That part of his life’s journey took him to Lexington, KY., Tucson, AZ., McAllen, TX., Folly Beach, SC and then Jonesborough/Johnson City, TN and Asheville, NC. He had friends all over the country. He was actively planning to spend retirement time in Tucson, AZ where he had finished his specialty training. Jerry is missed by many people especially his sister, sister-in-law and his “framily”.
A Celebration of Life for Jerry will be held on October 8, 2022 (10:00pm MST, 12:00pm CST, 1:00pm EST) in-person in Tucson, Arizona and virtually for those unable to attend. Please reply to our RSVP option with confirmation of attendance whether virtually or in-person. Please include contact information (phone number, email) so the family can reach out with more details. Your contact information will not be made public.
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