Jerry Lee Heath

May 26, 1987July 30, 2018

Jerry Lee Heath, age 31, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, July 30, 2018, at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was born May 26, 1987, in New Bern, North Carolina, to Jimmy and Kathy Heath. He was a 2005 graduate of New Bern High School. He married the love of his life, Mary Fernandez on October 6, 2012, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. On June 28, 2015 he welcomed his beautiful son Jerry Lee Heath Jr. into his life. He loved little JJ with all his heart.

CTN1(IW/SG/SW) Jerry Lee Heath enlisted into the United States Navy on June 16, 2005. After completion of recruit training and Quartermaster “A” School in Great Lakes, IL he reported to USS PORTER (DDG 78) homeported in Norfolk, VA, where he was assigned to the Navigation Department as a Quartermaster from 2005-2009. During his time onboard he conducted multiple deployments, including anti-piracy operations during which the destroyer attacked and sank two pirate skiffs off the coast of Somalia and earned the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist insignia.

In 2009 he cross-rated to Cryptologic Technician Networks (CTN). While working as a CTN, it was Jerry’s job to detect, protect, react and respond against foreign threats. This was Jerry’s true passion. He loved working with computers, computer networking and programming. When it came to anything computer related, Jerry would help in an instant to historic success. Jerry was selected to be a Cryptologic Network Leading Petty Officer due to his knowledge, skill sets, and superior leadership. Jerry earned the Enlisted Information Warfare Specialist insignia at Navy Information Operations Command Georgia in 2012. While attached to USS GEORGIA (SSGN-729) in 2013, he received his Submarine Warfare insignia (Dolphins), which he was most proud of. In order to receive this, Jerry had to complete a complex and demanding training program while demonstrating how to operate each station of the submarine in an emergency situation.

He served at Navy Information Operations Command Hawaii from 2016-2018. During which time he served as Division Leading Petty Officer for a Cyber Protection Team, and was hand-selected to serve as the Weapons Officer during a National-level Cyber Certification Exercise, a position typically held by more senior ranking Officers.

During his time in the Navy he was awarded three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, four Navy Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal (Expeditionary and Service), Navy Rifle Marksmanship Medal, Navy Pistol Marksmanship Medal, and numerous Unit and Campaign awards.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Mary Heath; his son Jerry (JJ) Heath Jr.; his father Jimmy (Jim) Heath; his brothers, Jason Hughes and Zachary Heath; his sister, Jennifer Popperwill; his grandmother, Janice Heath and cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and many close friends.

The family will receive from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, August 16th at Cotten Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 9:00 am on Friday, August 17th at Cotten Funeral Home's Chapel with a graveside service to follow at Coastal Carolina Cemetery in Jacksonville. We will reminisce, grieve, support each other and celebrate his life.


  • Visitation Thursday, August 16, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, August 17, 2018
  • Graveside Service Friday, August 17, 2018

Jerry Lee Heath

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mary Margaret Haddock

August 16, 2018

I am so sorry to hear about Jerry. Even though I did not know Jerry, my late sister, Karen, thought a lot of this young man. I know she has welcomed him with open arms.....💙

Keith Boulware

August 15, 2018

We have very fond memories of Jerry who spent much time with our son, Caleb. He had such an easy going personality and a great smile. We remember lugging him around with Caleb and his other friends many times. Sorry we can't be at the reviewing or the funeral. We pray for God's comfort to surround all his family and friends. We look forward to seeing him with the Lord in sky!

Mike Feyedelem

August 13, 2018

I am so sorry to hear the news of Jerry's passing and hold the family in my prayers. I was one of Jerry's Commanding Officers on USS PORTER (DDG 78) and absolutely loved working with Jerry. As a Quartermaster, Jerry spent a lot of time on the bridge of the ship as did I and he was always professional, extremely competent and very personable. We spent many long hours working together and Jerry was the best. I am truly saddened by his loss as the Navy has lost one of its finest.

Lois Cornwell

August 12, 2018

Jerry was such a handsome young man as we gathered together to morn the passing of his grandpa. Life has bad and unexplainable circrumstances we all must face. As you remember, I have lost my son to leukemia over 38 years ago. Bryan will never be forgotten; as Jerry will never be forgotten. I am so sorry for your loss. May you allow Jesus to carry your burdens and dry your tears during this difficult time of your life. I will be praying for your family. I am in Texas visiting my daughter Amanda and unable to attend. My heart will grieve with you and all the family. Lois Cornwell, Lydie Norman Boyd's daughter

Keith Boulware

August 9, 2018

We remember Jerry well as we would pick him up along with many of our son's friends to our church's youth group. He was a great addition to the pack with his big smile and easy going nature. We miss him now but know we shall see him in our eternal home.