Jerry Epker Memorial
In March we lost former HTMC and Sierra Club member Jerry Epker. He died in New Mexico at the age of 75 from cancer. I will miss his gentle and generous spirit.
Jerry’s parents died young and his uncle raised him and his siblings. Jerry earned a Psychology degree from the University of Michigan while supporting himself by delivering pizzas. He regretted not investing in that newly established Domino’s Pizza franchise. Jerry first worked for the Chrysler company. He then moved to Hawaii after getting a job at the Dillingham Land Co. as a COBOL programmer, servicing computer main frame. He quit smoking and drinking and started running and entered racing events.
Dillingham sent Jerry to New Zealand for six months, where he met his wife. They did not have any children and he got divorced three years later. After returning to Oahu Jerry worked in the IT department for First Hawaiian Bank. The bank then outsourced and Jerry worked for the vendor, Fidelity Info Systems.
At 50 Jerry was a colon cancer survivor. He taught himself to cook and became an avid hiker and member of the Sierra Club and Hawaiian Trail & Mountain Club. He regularly hiked the Aiea Loop trail on Saturdays with friends. He also enjoyed helping Betsy W. train her two dogs to hike on the trails.
During his early travels Jerry became enamored with the Southwest. So after retiring from his IT job on Oahu he relocated to the small town of Timberon, NM in November 2012. He got his cabin in the woods with the wood burning stove, and continued to travel and hike with like-minded neighbors. He was readily welcomed into the community. He volunteered at the fire & rescue station, at community events, and as the local IT expert.
He became the assistant chief of the fire department. After he stopped going on calls himself, he managed all the back office functions and oversaw the construction of the new fire station.
On March 23, 2023 Jerry was buried at a graveside mass attended by his priest, and his Timberon community of friends and coworkers.
Jerry is survived by a brother & sister and their families, and by many good friends who will miss his kind heart and wit.