A former White House butler died after contracting coronavirus. He took with him the experience of serving 11 presidents of the United States while being remembered by presidents themselves. Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, died at 91 due to COVID-19 as confirmed by his granddaughter as reported by Fox 5 DC.
Jerman was one of the longest-serving employees in the White House. Former President George W. Bush and the former First Lady Laura Bush also remembered him fondly, according to a report by NBC News on Wednesday.
Bush Couple Remembered Him
"He was a lovely man," the Bush couple said. Jerman was the first person they saw in the morning as they left the residence, while also being the last person they saw each night as they returned.
Jamila Garrett, Jerman's granddaughter, said in the interview that he first served former President Eisenhower at the White House when he began as a cleaner in 1957. After that he got promoted during Kennedy's presidency. Garrett said, because her grandfather had fostered such good relationships at the White House, it helped him to be promoted in position.
"Jackie O actually promoted him to a butler because of the relationship," she said. Jerman appreciated service, especially service to others, even as a family man, Garrett added.
First Lady's Memoir: Served With Dignity
Jerman's photo with former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama became the then-first lady's memoir that says he "Served with dignity". His granddaughter said that the same photo of him in Obama's book and the legacy of his service helped the family greatly in coping up with his loss.
Jerman, as a butler, retired from White House service in 2012. Garrett said that her grandad taught her to always be herself. His teaching thrived throughout her family. "And that's what we'll continue to carry on, his legacy," she adds.