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Jerome Conrad Hayenga
Jerome Conrad Hayenga, Sr. died peacefully June 28, 2021 in Amelia Island, Florida. He was formerly a long time resident of Annapolis, Maryland. Jerome, better known as Pops to his family, was born in Yakima, Washington October 3, 1928 to Rolf & Mary Hayenga. He was the oldest of five children. He graduated from Yakima High School in 1946 and then enlisted in the Air Force where he served his country for 30 years including tours in Vietnam, Japan, Alaska, Andrews Air Force Base and the Pentagon. He achieved the top non-commissioned rank of Chief Master Sergeant and earned numerous military citations and medals including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Joint Service Commendation medal. He went on to have a second long career with DHL International.
Pops enjoyed playing golf, gin rummy, solitaire, pinochle and coaching intramural sports for kids. He was an avid pro and college sports fan with a particular love for the Washington Redskins and Nationals baseball team. He had an incredible memory for sports trivia and statistics. He encouraged his grandchildren in their sports activities and attended as many of their games as possible. He was supportive of his children and grandchildren’s academic and business pursuits and was always there to offer help in any way he could. He possessed a dry wit, positive outlook on life and never spoke an angry or discouraging word. He found great pleasure in taking his family out to eat and will be remembered for his love of Outback Steakhouse, ice cream, donuts and corn on the cob.
Jerome was preceded in death by his son, Jerome Hayenga Jr. , and sisters Kathleen Hayenga and Virginia Stewart. He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Zura, his daughters: Karen Shoopman (spouse Dave Shoopman), Linda Bilger (spouse Don Bilger), Sharla Hurst (spouse Paul Hurst), Susan Walkenhauer (John), son Mike Hayenga (Candi) grandchildren: Amy Kemp, Jake Shoopman, Adam Bilger, Taylor Hurst, Blake Bilger, Leah Hurst and Courtney Hayenga, Brian Walkenhauer, Kevin Walkenhauer, great grandchildren Olivia and Charlotte Kemp, sisters Pat Archambeau and Theresa Lafferty, nieces, great nieces and great nephews as well as the family cat, Tiger, who brought him great comfort. Pops spirit, wisdom and love will live on in the hearts of his family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to his favorite charities: St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Shiner’s Hospital or the Rude Ranch animal rescue in Harwood, Maryland.
A celebration of life service has been scheduled for 1:00 pm, Saturday, August 14, 2021 in the Burgess Chapel of Oxley Heard Funeral Home on Amelia Island, Florida.
Pop’s final resting place will be Arlington National Cemetery.