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Wilson Roosevelt Jerman

When Wilson Roosevelt Jerman’s wife, Gladys, was dying of lupus in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent steak and lobster to their rowhouse in Washington and asked his personal physicians to help treat her. When Jerman retired in 2012, he had paintings of the White House interior signed by President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy hanging in his living room. And after he died May 16 of covid-19, former first lady Michelle Obama sent out condolences. Jerman, a longtime butler at the White House, was a man who left an impression, his family said. “With his kindness and care, Wilson Jerman helped make the White House a home for decades of First Families, including ours,” Obama said Thursday. “We were lucky to have known him. Barack and I send our sincerest love and prayers to his family.” Jerman, 91, died at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, his family said. He had served presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama. One of four children of a farmworker, Jerman had grown up so poor in rural Seaboard, N.C., that he had to put cardboard in his shoes when they wore out. He left school after seventh grade to help support his family.