Jerry Don Pelham, 69, of North Pole, lost his battle with esophageal cancer, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, at home with his family.
Jerry was born July 27, 1943, in Maybank, Texas, to Arthur Lee and Lucy Bell Alphin Pelham and was raised in Hale Center, Texas.
Jerry moved to Colorado in the 1970s and married Franki Rhea in Golden, Colo., in March 1979. Jerry and Franki visited Alaska in 1997, and fell in love with the state. They moved to North Pole in 1998.
Jerry was a lifetime member of Harley Owners' Group (HOG). In addition to his love of motorcycle riding, Jerry enjoyed halibut fishing in Homer, Valdez and Ninilchik, hunting and riding his Arctic Cat snowmachine. Clamming in Ninilchik was new to Jerry but he dug in for those clams. Moose hunting with his daughter and her husband was always a favorite pastime. Alaska brought new adventures to Jerry, and he never lost his passion for yard work and remodeling his home.
Jerry worked in the automotive industry most of his adult life. He was a Certified Master Volvo Tech in Denver and retired from Gabe's Truck & Auto at age 66. After a one-week retirement, he drove a truck for NAPA in North Pole until his illness.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Franki Rhea-Pelham, of North Pole; daughter, Kimberly Bailey, and husband Jacky, of North Pole; sons, Michael Pelham, and partner Troy McIntosh, of Virginia, and Kenneth Pelham and wife Kendra, of Texas; stepdaughter Michelle Koster, and husband Kris, of Colorado. He also is survived by brothers, Wayne (Glenda) Pelham and Jim Pelham (Dorothy); sister Bettye (Glen) Ball, of Texas; grandchildren, Christopher (Lauren) Pinkston, of Texas, Kassandra (Michael) Ryan, of Fairbanks, Lucas Bailey, of North Pole, Kaylee Pelham, of Washington, Hunter (Rebecca) Pelham, and Tanner Pelham, of Texas; great-grandchildren Taylor, Jacob and Colton Pinkston, of Texas, Logan and Levi Ryan, of Fairbanks, and baby Evelyn Pelham (on the way), of Texas.
A celebration of life will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, at Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.
Arrangements were entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.