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"Soup Bone Holler, Indiana shows the hard work performed by Salvation Army missionaries around the world. ​This is one of many reasons we ring the bell around the red kettles!”

JoAnne and Joseph Callaway ("Those Callaways")

Salvation Army National Advisory Board Members,

Owners of Calloway Realty and Authors of

New York Times Best Seller "Clients First: The Two Word Miracle"

The first question the NYPD detective asked me was,

"Why are YOU still alive?"

and many other fine booksellers

Missionary Jean Gerber with a resident of a ​Salvation Army children's home

"Jean Gerber has the heart of a servant, ​uplifting and encouraging others who dwell in ​the darkest places. 'Soup Bone Holler, Indiana' ​shines a light on what we should all aspire to - ​strong faith and service to others."

Steve Stirling

President and CEO, MAP International and

Author of The Crutch of Success

The Book

Soup Bone Holler, Indiana is the true story of Jean Gerber and her experiences serving those in need as a social worker,  Salvation Army missionary and teacher in a homeless shelter.

The book also covers Jean's relationship with mother-and-son serial killers, Sante and Kenny Kimes, whom she met on her mission in the Bahamas. The Kimes attempted to use Jean as a pawn in what was called “the crime of the decade” in the 1990s, the disappearance and murder of New York socialite Irene Silverman.

Violet Jean Anderson Gerber was born in 1930 in Soup Bone Holler, an ​extremely poor section of Clinton, Indiana. The eighth of nine children of ​an alcoholic father and overworked mother, Violet Jean (known simply ​as Jean) grew up during the Great Depression and watched her brother ​march off to World War II.

In the 1950s, Jean began a 13-year pursuit of a bachelor’s degree and ​graduated from the University of Arizona in 1966, majoring in Spanish. ​She entered social work and held a variety of positions in Nevada and ​Washington welfare agencies. Jean became a soldier in the Salvation ​Army at the age of fifty-five, serving as a missionary in the Bahamas, ​Jamaica, and Mexico, among others.

After retiring from the Salvation Army, Jean spent ten years teaching ​General Education Degree (GED) classes to homeless adults at the Dave ​Thomas Education Center at the Broward County Outreach Center in ​Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There, she assisted eighty-seven students to ​achieve a GED (the equivalent of a high school diploma). Jean now lives ​in Arizona, where she teaches Spanish classes to senior citizens.

The Author

Reader Reviews

"A fascinating and educational ​look into the life of a member ​of the 'Greatest Generation.' ​Jean's faith and strength ​helped her do the right thing ​and put two serial killers ​behind bars."

John Halikowski

Director, Arizona Department ​of Transportation

More Reader Reviews

"I thoroughly enjoyed ​this book. It's uplifting, ​positive and heart ​warming. Jean's tenacity ​and zest for life and for ​God are inspiring."

- Carol S

"Ms. Gerber . . . has ​touched so many lives in ​her years on this earth. ​Her courage to testify ​for the prosecution of ​the Kimes murders is a ​testament to her faith."

- juju23

"This book was a "page ​turner" - I couldn't wait ​to find out what was ​going to happen next in ​her life."

- Amazon customer

Video Trailer


  • 3 Easy Steps to Publish a Book Review on Amazon (infographic)

  • Other books written about Sante and Kenny Kimes

Son of a Grifter: The Twisted Tale of Sante and Kenny Kimes, ​the Most Notorious Con Artists in America - A Memoir By The ​Other Son by Kent Walker

They Call Them Grifters: The True Story of Sante and Kenneth ​Kimes by Alice McQuillan

The Mother, the Son and the Socialite: The True Story of a ​Mother-Son Crime Spree by Adrian Havill

Dead End: The Crime Story of the Decade--Murder, Incest and ​High-Tech Thievery by Jeanne King

Contact Jean

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Jean's Life Verse

“. . . be still, and know that I am God . . ."

Psalm 46:10

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