On Monday, June 29, Gerald L. “Jerry” Hake passed away, in his home, surrounded by family. In October 2015, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He was given a life expectancy of approximately six months; if you know him, you know he took that as a challenge! He lived four years and eight months, just shy of his ultimate five-year goal.
Jerry was born to Nicholas T. Hake and Catherine W. (Carver) Hake on August 18, 1943, in Wichita, Kansas. He lived most of his childhood in Cawker City, a small town in Kansas. Jerry spent considerable time working at the family service station and was active in the sports and music programs of the local high school. He was very proud to have been a member of the One Act Play team that won a #1 rating in state competition as a freshman and later to be selected as a French horn player in the Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Band. He always said that being elected senior class president wasn’t an honor, it was just his turn since his class was so small.
His real love in high school was baseball, however, and despite being asked by the St. Louis Cardinals to attend a tryout camp, a prerequisite for regular training camp, Jerry elected to attend Fort Hays State College. One year later, Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the start of the Vietnam “Conflict.” He served aboard two different ships, the U.S.S Haleakala, an ammunition ship, and the U.S.S. Oriskany, an attack aircraft carrier. Although Jerry’s training was in nuclear weapons, he also helped supervise the assembly of bombs and other weapons based on the next tactical strike plan. Just how busy this 24-7 operation was is somewhat reflected in the 11 medals and 12 ribbons Jerry was awarded after his four-year tour of duty.
After an honorable discharge in 1966, Jerry was hired at Boeing. He graduated from Highline Community College in May 1969 and enrolled at the University of Washington in September 1970. Jerry had a long Boeing career as an audiovisual and graphics specialist for domestic and international trade shows, including worldwide air shows such as Paris and Farnborough. Jerry’s dry wit was evident when he retired from Boeing after 38 years, 6 months and 26 days, on April Fools’ Day.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Nicholas and Catherine. He is survived by his daughter, Keri; son, Kent; twin granddaughters, Kaylie and Kenzie; and siblings, Steve, Kathy and Bryan. A special thanks to his niece Tamara Hake for being his friend, secretary, driver and caregiver during these trying times.
Jerry will be inurned at Tahoma National Cemetery on July 8, 2020, with a full military ceremony. Due to COVID-19, attendance will be strictly limited. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glut1 Deficiency Foundation at https://www.g1dfoundation.org/donate1.html.
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