Saturday, 30 May, 2020

Former White House butler, longest serving employee, dies of coronavirus

Wilson Jerman Former White House employee, one of the longest-serving, dies of coronavirus
Deanna Wagner | 24 May, 2020, 00:45

Jerman, aged 91, began working at the White House in 1957 under then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a cleaner, Xinhua reported citing a leading USA media outlet.

His granddaughter, Shanta Taylor Gay, told CNN on Thursday Jerman died on May 16.

Michelle Obama said in a statement provided to NBC News that the late butler "helped make the White House a home for decades of first families, including ours".

"Bill and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Wilson Roosevelt Jerman at the age of 91 from COVID-19", she wrote.

"When Bush Sr. became president, moved his family into the White House", Garrett said, "George Bush Jr. has a little trouble adapting to a new environment, some trouble sleeping". "Our warmest condolences to his loved ones".

Jerman was known to go well beyond the call of duty during his 55 years in the White House.

The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Very giving, never fussed or complained. "Always said he lived a blessed life".

"She was instrumental in ensuring that that happened", she said.

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"We knew him when my grandpa (George H.W. Bush) was president ..."

Garrett, who grew up with Jerman in a multi-generational Washington, D.C., household - including her mother, her sister, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents - said a table with full place settings was a part of every meal at home.

A photo of Jerman with former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama was included in "Becoming", the former first lady's memoir.

He was working for Mr Obama, "a dignified president who was also African American", she said, adding: "That must have felt like a victory".

"Considering that we aren't able to grieve normally - physically together, [the photo's inclusion] is one way we are able to feel connected to his success and to feel connected to so much that he promoted around authenticity and building relationships, which equals building trust", Garrett told FOX 5.

"Always being yourself. That's what he taught our family, that's what thrives throughout our family, and that's what we'll continue to carry on, his legacy".

FOX 5 DC was first to report Jerman's death.