Captain’s Log- 24- November 2013-My Friend Jerry Roquemore

Jerry on the cover of a body building magazine.  He was an excellent teacher on the subject.

Jerry on the cover of a body building magazine. He was an excellent teacher on the subject.

I got the letter from Harald Gorges this morning saying that our friend, Jerry Roquemore, had passed on to be with his Lord.   It is a funny feeling to have known someone who got old and worn out and have people look at them as if all they are is a worn out old man or woman without a history that was extraordinary or full of adventure or amazingly beautiful or strong.   Now, with the shell of a person all you have to look at.  I even find that I can forget some of my past in the same way.  Maybe that is why we write things like this.  To remember some of the cool.

Pose of a body builder.

Pose of a body builder.

 

 

Jerry, Harald and I were kind of like the three musketeers for a while there in Yap.  We worked on a little worn out Cessna 150 so we could teach Harold how to fly.  We did some bodybuilding because Jerry used to be a world class body builder, Venice Beach, California.   He even had his pix on the cover of some magazines.  That was a bit before Arnold Schwarzenegger made it all famous.  But Jerry and I would work out in the evenings after flights.  He really knew what he was doing and I got in pretty good shape.  But I don’t think I was dedicated as much I might have been.

Jerry Roqumore on the cover of a body building magazine

Jerry Roquemore on the cover of a body building magazine

Jerry was also a champion Parachute jumper, had won competitions and was even a silver medalist in world competitions.  This was before the days of wing type chutes when it actually took more skill to hit a spot on the ground from high in the air.  I had flown jumpers in my early flying career but never actually jumped.  Cher jumped a couple times and it was a very strange thing watching your world fly out the door of a perfectly good airplane like that.  So, Harald and I took the training with Jerry.  But when the time came, there was nobody to fly the plane for my jump.  That is OK with me.  I always felt that there was a little truth to the saying that “there are only two things that fall out of the sky, bird crap and fools.”

We liked to explore the island with all the old World War II aircraft and anti-aircraft guns and other leftovers all over the jungle.  We even dived a couple of shipwrecks.   It was good adventure.

Jerry Roquemore with Cher, Me and the Boys in the outer islands

Jerry Roquemore with Cher, Me and the Boys in the outer islands of Micronesia.  We were always showered with leis. And isn’t my lovely wife beautiful?

I have already written about some of our flying adventures and of a night flight to pick up a little boy who had sliced his arm with a machete and getting lost going to Woleai Atoll and running out of fuel on the way back in the Micronesia section of True Tales.  In later years Jerry really encouraged us in our faith and focused me on the prize instead of the pain of life, which was great when he was the one suffering most.

In the end, I always felt like I had a great wingman in Jerry.  When he was around there was always someone guarding my back and willing to make the sacrifice for the team.  I will always be glad for the time we spent together and remember to tell our stories around the campfire.

It is a wonderful feeling to know someone has your back.  Jerry was always like that for me.  I will miss him.

It is a wonderful feeling to know someone has your back. Jerry was always like that for me. I will miss him.

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10 Responses to Captain’s Log- 24- November 2013-My Friend Jerry Roquemore

  1. Adelle Roquemore says:

    Jerry is my Father-in-law. I am married to his son Frank Roquemore. Thanks for the kind words, and wonderful pics. He will truly be missed by his family, and friends.

  2. Leonardo says:

    My condolences for the loss of your friend.

    • Jon says:

      Thanks Leonardo. I guess it is like someone said:
      “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, Latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn and screaming “Wha Hoo”, what a ride!” I guess that is closer to Jerry’s way.

  3. Jay Barker says:

    Thanks for this. I was privileged to work and fly with Jerry for nearly 13 years after he and Annie returned to the States where we worked for a large energy related company as pipeline patrol pilots, but in all our time together he (typically) seldom talked about himself or his earlier accomplishments. My wife, who is also a patrol pilot,and I were so privileged to have known Jerry and Annie. I was able to attend his memorial service at Fort Sill National Cemetery last Friday and briefly meet his lovely daughter, Diana and some other family members.
    Jay

    • Jon says:

      Hi Jay,
      How wonderful. I really wish I could have been there but alas, I am in Congo. It would have been great to be there and share in honoring Jerry. Thank you for taking part. I would love to meet the whole family someday.
      God bless you, Jon

  4. Kathy Love says:

    The eulogies for Christians are always so beautiful and bittersweet because even with sadness we have the Hope that isn’t in the world..What an exciting life you have lived Jon and Cher. and you are continuing to do so.. You two should sit down and write your book …. Well I guess if you did that you would have to stop doing what you are doing .. The tribute to your friend was truely beautiful. Thank you for sharing your memories with us..

    • Jon says:

      Hi Kathy, Yes, Jerry was looking forward to being with His Lord and his lovely wife Annie. Can’t imagine his joy but I will be happy for him even though I will miss him. God bless,Jon

  5. Dianna G. says:

    What a beautiful tribute. Sounds like Jerry lived a rich live and is even richer now.

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