Guest Story – Jeramiah “The Dollar Tree Guy” gives back posthumously to Beacon House

The following is a letter from Patti Truckey, mother of Jeramiah Truckey: “I recently received an e-mail from Andrew Lorinser, the marketing PR at Beacon House. A co-worker was telling him about my son, Jeramiah Truckey and his giving and generous nature. Andrew was told about the kids bags with toys, the adult bag we...

The following is a letter from Patti Truckey, mother of Jeramiah Truckey:

“I recently received an e-mail from Andrew Lorinser, the marketing PR at Beacon House. A co-worker was telling him about my son, Jeramiah Truckey and his giving and generous nature. Andrew was told about the kids bags with toys, the adult bag we made out of fabric. How he and Lori Burton, a friend in Republic filled those bags with shampoo, soaps, socks and other hygiene products for those staying at Beacon House. Unfortunately, Jeremiah left us before we could finish. Andrew asked me to write more about Jeramiah…

Jeramiah has always had a giving spirit. In grade school, when the temperatures were below zero, he came home without his coat. He had taken his coat off and gave it away! When asked him why he replied, “Because I have another one and he needed it – he didn’t have one.” I couldn’t fault him for that! 🙂 That giving nature continued throughout his life.

Years later he became the assistant manager at the Marquette Dollar Tree. If you’ve ever shopped there you knew him as “The Dollar Tree Guy”. Customers would go in just to talk to him. After he passed away, we heard numerous stories of his generous nature. One lady said he actually saved her life! He found out she was a brittle diabetic, so he carried special sugar in his pocket just in case. One day, her sugar became dangerously low, he knew just what to do for her.

I’ve been quilting for a few years and every few years I choose an organization to donate items to. In 2016 Jeremiah chose Beacon House. Why? His dad had been in poor health for a few years. In 2014 he was critically ill and we used Beacon House for the first time. One year later his dad was in ICU for a month. We used Beacon House almost the entire time. He remembered how hard it was and how wonderful the staff was at the time. It was October so staying close by meant we didn’t have to worry about traveling bad roads. Our family was amazed and grateful at the wonderful rooms, laundry facilities, and occasional meals provided. The staff often inquired to how his dad was and always asked if they could be of help. He wanted to not only make the staff’s job a little easier but remembering how we arrived with hardly anything it was the little things like shampoo, soap and toothbrushes that helped us feel better. Jeramiah suggested making fabric bags as they could be reused for laundry or makeshift suitcase, then fill them with essential items. Pretty smart thought! After starting he wanted to include kids. He hated the thought of scared kids.

The project was 2/3 done when Jeramiah fell from the water falls in Ironwood while taking a picture. Finishing our project was one of the things that helped me work through my grief. I wanted to finish for him. His close friend and partner in crime Lori Burton in Republic went and purchased over $100 of supplies to fill the bags. Jeramiah was a member of kindspring.org, an organization dedicated to paying kindness forward. When they heard of the project and Jeramiah passing they gave $100 to help finish with supplies in October 2016.

A few days before Thanksgiving 2016, Jeramiah’s dad and I filled the back of our SUV with bags, stuffed animals, quilts, and more.

When talking to the staff about why I was doing this, I was surprised they actually remembered him. Not just telling a grieving mothers words to make her feel better, but they gave examples of when he stayed at Beacon House 3-4 times and of when he previously came with donations of quilts I had made. When I showed the picture brought of him someone said, “He’s the Dollar Tree Guy!” We all laughed through our tears at that!

When Andrew approached us about honoring Jeramiah with a dedicated day at Beacon House (his birthday even) we were truly touched. Jeramiah loved and shared with his whole heart. We still hear stories how he touched others. Many we didn’t know. To see him honored in this way was one of the best tributes to a very caring and special man.”

Jeramiah Truckey Oct. 15 1983 – August 21, 2016

Jeramiah Truckey Obituary

Jeramiah Joseph “JJ” Truckey, of 104 S Mackenzie St, Negaunee, went home unexpectedly on August 21st 2016. He was 32 years old. Jeramiah was born October 15, 1983 in Loma Linda, CA, the son of Gerald and Patricia (Whitaker) Truckey.

At the age of 6, Jeramiah moved with his family to the UP of Michigan. Jeramiah attended school at Republic-Michigamme Schools where he graduated with the Class of 2002. He attended Northern Michigan University where he received his Associates Degree. Jeramiah spent a lot of time traveling, visiting many states on the East Coast and even working at Disney World. In 2008, he met the love of his life, Kevin Ringuette, and eventually settled down in Negaunee. Most people from the Marquette area know Jeramiah as “Jay” from Dollar Tree. He was always welcoming and friendly no matter who walked in the door or what kind of a day he was having. Jeremiah enjoyed reading, traveling, and being outdoors. He also loved spending time with his family. His newest passion was being an Uncle to his Niece and “little lovebug” Mia. Jeramiah was one of most gentle, sweet, caring people you could”ve ever met. He would do anything for anyone just because it was the right thing to do. He once gave the jacket off of his shoulders to a boy at school because he needed one and Jeramiah had extras.

Jeramiah is being remembered and missed immensely by his “hubby” Kevin Ringuette; his 4 legged son, Roy; his parents, Gerald and Patti Truckey of Republic, MI; his sister, Susan (David) Keller of Wausau, WI; his niece, Mia Keller of Wausau, WI; maternal grandmother, Takako Umi Whitaker of Victorville, CA; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and special friends.

Jeramiah”s family would like to thank everyone who has shown so much care and generosity in our time of grief. We would especially like to thank the Gogebic County Sheriff”s Department, The United States Coast Guard, The various Search and Rescue crews and Volunteer”s, The Comfort Inn of Ironwood, MI, and Range Funeral Service.