Jerry Fancher Scroggs
August 12, 1921 – March 23, 2021
On the night of March 23, 2021, a member of the “Greatest Generation” ended his life’s journey. It was a peaceful ending to a long and good life.
This was our father, Jerry F. Scroggs, who began his journey in Hermiston, OR August 12, 1921. He was the fourth son and last born. Prior to his birth, his parents made the trip from their home in Sunnyside, WA to Hermiston to be with Jerry’s maternal grandparents just as they had done for the previous three children. They returned shortly after his birth to what would be his home for the next eighteen years, Sunnyside. Jerry was an avid outdoorsman from childhood. He loved hiking, swimming, hunting birds, fishing, camp outs and as a Boy Scout managed to climb Mt. Adams, the 2nd highest peak in Washington. He graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1939, playing on the school golf and tennis teams and continued playing golf into his late 80’s.
After high school he chose to attend Santa Rosa Junior College in California from 1940-1942. He returned north to the University of Washington in 1942, but World War II intervened and in 1943, Jerry signed up for the Army Air Corps. More than anything he wanted to pilot a plane. After moving between several bases for training, in late 1943 he was fortunate to arrive at a base near Kansas City. An arranged blind date signaled the start of a short romance and long marriage with his wife, Frances. They married March 16, 1944. Shortly after the ceremony, Jerry now a member of the 15th Air Force in a B-24 bomber group hopscotched from the US via South America to North Africa and as time went on to Sicily and the boot of Italy. He flew 25 missions to Germany and Romania and brought his plane back scarred but with his crew safe. At the age of 23, he received the Bronze Star, Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross. Released from the Army in 1945, Frances and Jerry made Seattle their home. Jerry completed his Business degree at the University of Washington and started his career as a Personnel Director at the same University. During this time the family expanded with a son and daughter. Jerry’s business career in Personnel management included working for a major fruit and produce company, Boeing and as executive director of the Totem Girl Scout Council. In 1988 as Jerry was planning to retire, Frances passed away. He made a decision following his loss to travel and enjoy the remainder of his life. He moved to Honolulu in 1989 and met a lady friend who would become his life partner until her death in 2015. They traveled the world and lived a wonderful life in Hawaii. At the age of 94, Jerry chose to return home to Seattle where he spent his final years knowing he was loved and well cared for. Jerry’s kindness, gentle manner and contagious smile will always be a reminder of him. He will be missed by friends and family alike.
Jerry is survived by his son, Gary, and his daughter, Janice; two grandsons, Matthew and Mitchell, as well as nieces and nephews.