Gerald Douglas Percey
January 2, 1931 – May 29, 2019
It is with heavy yet proud hearts that we announce Gerald (Jerry) Douglas Percey, Sr.’s passing in Beaverton, Oregon on May 29th, 2019.
Jerry was born January 2, 1931, in Minot, ND. As a young child he moved to Washington with his parents, where he attended West Seattle High School, most memorably playing the trombone as a member of the marching band.
Jerry’s earliest and most resolute ambition was to serve his country. He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard at just seventeen years of age in 1948. His Coast Guard career began with basic training in Florida and specialist training in Connecticut. His first permanent duty assignment was for two years, stationed aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter Cedar, based in Kodiak, AK. He then transferred to Long Beach, CA where he spent another two years at the USCG base in Terminal Island.
At this time the Korean Conflict caused an involuntary one year extension to Jerry’s enlistment. Having reached the rank of Petty Officer First Class, he then made the choice that most proudly highlights his legacy. He decided that serving our country would become his career, and he reenlisted for another four years.
That reenlistment led Jerry to a Port Security assignment in Astoria, OR. On this duty is where he met his wife, Mary Jo Chase of Hammond, whom he wisely married on July 30th, 1955. Their first child, Douglas Alan, was born thereafter in 1957.
The family spent time between Portland, Hammond, Seattle, and Port Angeles, WA over the next several years, moving frequently whenever orders required. In Port Angeles, where Jerry was serving aboard the USCGC Winona, they welcomed their second child, Gerald (Jerry) Douglas, Jr. in 1959. A short year later, in 1960, a new assignment took Jerry Sr. away from his family for a full year and six months. Permitted just a short 20 days of leave during this time, Jerry spent six months on sea duty aboard the USCGC Chautauqua and then a year on the Mariana Islands off the coast of Guam, where he was appointed Deputy Shipping Commissioner.
Now a Chief Petty Officer, Jerry was ordered back to the mainland. He was stationed at the Marine Inspection Office in Portland, OR for a four year assignment before receiving his final duty orders aboard the former Navy Icebreaker, USCGC Staten Island. Here, Jerry fondly recalled enjoying duty assignments to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, a place the rest of us can only visit in pictures. Back on land, Jerry and Mary Jo’s third child, and finally a daughter, Michelle Marie, was born in 1967. On January 31st 1968, after 20 years of proud service, Senior Chief Petty Officer Gerald Douglas Percey, Sr. retired from the United States Coast Guard. Jerry’s next chapter saw him continuing the mission to protect and serve. In June of 1968, he was sworn in as a Police Patrolman in the Beaverton Police Department. He was soon promoted to the rank of Detective where he spent the remainder of his 28-year long career, while also working to earn two Associates degrees from Portland Community College in the subjects of Management and Criminal Justice.
Retiring from the force on January 1st, 1996, Jerry deservedly enjoyed what we all describe as “living the dream” - 23 years of retirement. He spent his time keeping his policing skills honed by doing independent contracting for the Teamsters Union and some freelance investigative work for a local attorney. He was a voracious reader with an appetite for the newsworthy in particular. He also made frequent drives to California to visit and vacation with family, and recently had a wonderful trip to Hawaii that was shared by all of those he loved.
While his passing saddens our hearts, we find joy and comfort in that Jerry truly lived a life worth living; a full life, having achieved the levels of accomplishment and integrity that the rest of us will continue to strive for in his honor.
Jerry was preceded in passing by his son, Jerry Jr., in 2010. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Jo; his son Douglas and his wife Lana, of California; his daughter Michelle and her husband Stephen of Oregon; and many proud grand-children and great-grandchildren. His legacy is one for the great logbooks of history, and we wish him Godspeed on his final tour of duty.
- Visitation Wednesday, June 5, 2019
- Graveside Service with Military Honors Thursday, June 6, 2019
- Gathering with Family & Friends Thursday, June 6, 2019