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William Gerald "Jerry" Pyper

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William Gerald "Jerry" Pyper Obituary
William Gerald "Jerry" Pyper

William Gerald "Jerry" Pyper, 75, died peacefully with his children by his side, after a year long battle with cancer, on January 30, 2016. Doctors gave Jerry 3 months to a year to live; however, being a strong and stubborn man, he made sure to surpass the one year mark by over a week. Jerry's final months were spent enjoying quality time with his children and grandchildren.

Jerry was born on April 3, 1940 in Sioux Falls, SD. The second of 7 children to William George "Sonny" and Regina Pyper, he was lucky to survive childhood after setting fire to his closet at the age of 3.

After graduating from Cathedral High School, Jerry enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany for 3 years. During that time he never once left the base because he was so homesick.

In 1965, he married Dorothy Leitheiser and had three children; William "Bill" Pyper (the ornery child), Jody Iggulden (the stubborn bull headed child) and Stacy Sorenson, (the shy yet rebellious child, who gave him all his gray hair). His children's traits are courtesy of their beloved father.

Jerry worked for the railroad in Sioux Falls until 1973, he then moved his family to Vancouver, WA to work for Alcoa/ACPC until 1997. He finally retired from Pacific Detroit Diesel in 2005.

Retirement days were spent fishing with his best friend, Mark Strand. He also enjoyed golfing, until one really bad game where he threw his clubs and never golfed again. Taking walks to feed the ducks, watching his grandchildren play sports and bonding with his cats were all favorite pastimes of his retirement.

In 1998, Jerry married Sandie Sleem, who brought her children, Earl (Stacey) Horton and Billie-Jean Horton (Brian) into the family. Jerry's time with Sandie was spent fishing, traveling to visit family and being ornery. Jerry was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, and his greatest role Grandfather.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Sandie; son, Bill (Kim) Pyper; daughters, Jody Iggulden (Kurt Anderson) and Stacy (Brett) Sorenson; grandchildren, Ryan, Alex, and Brooke Iggulden, Jayd Sorenson, William Asher, and Aaron Pyper; siblings, Marianne (Vince) Donelan, Phillip (Sandy) Pyper, Carolyn (Lloyd) Koopman, Jane (Mark) O'Connor, Susan Johnson, and David (Chick) Pyper.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Sonny and Regina Pyper; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and great-nephew Cody Vaughn.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send donations to Ray Hickey Hospice House.

Published in The Argus Leader on Feb. 7, 2016
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