On January 18, the Minneapolis Kuopio Partnership lost a most enthusiastic committee member and great friend, Jerry Beltt, who died unexpectedly from cardiac arrest at age 65.
Born into a Finnish immigrant family of seven boys in Cloquet, Minnesota, his heritage was always important to him. He welcomed opportunities to host visitors from Finland, and loved talking about Finland while working at Minneapolis’ Sister City Day. He was also very involved in progressive social and political issues, and enjoyed getting to know the many people he met at various events.
Jerry was a caterer by trade, and was sought after for many, many family events in Minneapolis—birthdays, weddings, bar mitzvahs, holiday parties. He almost always built friendships and remained close to the families in whose lives and events he participated. One of his treasured memories was catering a private dinner for Finland’s new ambassador during her first visit to Minnesota.
A memorial gathering was held for Jerry at his neighborhood community center, where he was active in local issues, and where many recounted how often they greeted and chatted with him when he walked his dog in the area.