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Gerald M. Jessup ( North Cascades 1959 )

posted: Jan 10, 2024

Gerry died December 29, 2023. He was born June 20, 1940, in Wenatchee, Washington, raised in the Wenatchee Valley and graduated from Eastmont H.S. in 1958 where he played football and basketball. Gerry was inducted into the Eastmont Athletic Hall of fame in 2023. He graduated from Wenatchee Jr. College where he met his wife.

"In the winter of 1958-59 my brother challenged me to apply to the smokejumper program at Winthrop, WA. I did and was accepted after a face-to-face meeting with the Base Manager, Francis Lufkin (NCSB-40). I jumped the 1959-60 seasons and as we say, 'it was the best job I ever had.' I loved the experience and the camaraderie, but I fell in love, married my sweetheart and 'had to find a real job.'

"I attended the University of Washington for one year but left school and returned to Wenatchee where I found work as a salesman in the fruit industry. My brother told me that if I was going to live in Wenatchee long term, I needed to work in the fruit industry. I did, for the next 40 years.

"If I were to list the top four events in my life I would say my relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ, finding and marrying my wife, my three children and smokejumping. If I was to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing."