Former White House Butler Dies From COVID-19

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
May 21, 2020COVID-19
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Former White House Butler Dies From COVID-19
A fountain bubbles in front of the White House on Nov. 15, 2000. (Alex Wong/Newsmakers)

The former White House butler who had served through 11 different presidencies passed away from COVID-19 during the weekend of May 16, according to multiple reports.

Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, the white house butler, started working at the white house back in 1957 as a cleaner during the Eisenhower administration, according to the Hill. It wasn’t until the John F. Kennedy administration that Jerman built a friendship with Kennedy and his wife that he was promoted to a butler.

“Jackie O actually promoted him to a butler because of the relationship. She was instrumental in ensuring that that happened,” Jerman’s granddaughter, Jamila Garrett said in an interview with Fox 5 DC.

The Hill reported that Jerman worked at the White House until he retired in 2012. According to Daily Mail, a few years prior to his retirement, Jerman changed his role from full-time to part-time.

In fact, Jerman had served as a butler at the White House from Eisenhower all the way to Barack Obama and spent 55 years working there up until his retirement, Huffington Post reported.

Garrett described his grandfather as a genuine family-man, and always provided his service to individuals who needed it, regardless of who they were.

“He was always about service, service to others, and it didn’t matter who you were or what you did or what you needed, whatever that he could provide you with,” Garrett said.

She also said that back when George H. W. Bush became president and moved into the White House, Jerman provided his services as a butler to help the Bush family settle into the White House when they first moved in.

“When Bush Sr. became president and moved his family into the White House, George Bush Jr. has a little trouble adapting to a new environment, some trouble sleeping. Well, my grandfather would actually sit with him in his bedroom until he fell asleep,” Garrett told Fox 5 DC.

Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush also spoke fondly about Jerman, according to Daily Mail, and said, “he was a lovely man. He was the first person we saw in the morning and when we left the residence and the last person we saw each night when we returned.”

Garrett told Fox 5 DC that she wanted everyone to know of her grandfather’s legacy, and during the interview, she said, “I want the world to remember my grandfather as someone who was really authentic.

“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,” Garrett said.

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