Jerald Barnard Felder was born June 14, 1935 in Aransas Pass Texas, second of three sons born to Rufus King and Catherine Felder. As a young child he was raised in El Segundo California. At the age of fifteen he graduated as valedictorian of the El Segundo High School class of 1951 and earned a full academic and athletic scholarship to Yale University. He was a member of the Yale Swim Team throughout his college years and won many competitions in the butterfly stroke. He majored in Political Science at Yale and following graduation in 1955 he entered Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He supported himself and paid his tuition in medical school by working night shifts as a lab technician at the local veteran's hospital.
After earning his Doctorate in Medicine in 1959 he served four years as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. In 1960 he married Betty Jean Arabie, mother of his two oldest children, Barry and Leigh. In 1980 he married Mary Roby, mother of his two younger children Jennifer and John.
He completed a residency program at Baylor and became a Board Certified Otorhinolaryngologist and a Fellow in the Academy. He relocated to Reno, Nevada where he practiced for seven years while also serving in the Nevada Air National Guard. He was drawn back into full-time military life and served an additional 24 years active duty in the United States Navy. His service included tours on the aircraft carrier Nimitz, service to the Marine Corps as the Wing Surgeon of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing, and was the Commander of the Medical Departments of the Atlantic Surface Fleet. While in this command he designed the medical facilities of the hospital ships Mercy and Comfort. He also completed a second residency and fellowship in Aerospace Medicine and earned a Master's of Public Health at UCLA. After 34 years of committed service, he retired from active duty in 1994 as a Captain (06) and then served for 12 years as the Medical Director at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, Oregon. Final retirement came in 2011 with a move to Lake Tahoe, Nevada and a winter home in Centerville, Utah.
He loved to go hiking, camping, skiing, and rock hounding in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He also loved fishing, classical music, Star Trek, choral singing, woodworking, dancing, and traveling the world with his family. He had a strong belief in God and served as an Elder and choir member in many Presbyterian churches and supported his wife Mary in her Catholic faith, as she supported him in his Presbyterian faith. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary, and children Leigh Johnsen (Roger), Jennifer Swartz (Michael), Dr. John Matthew Felder (Dr. Deniz Sarhaddi), his brother John King Felder, twelve grandchildren, six great granddaughters and one on the way. He died the way he had hoped, at home surrounded by family and in peace in the early morning of Thursday February 18th, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Dr. James Parham Felder and his son Barry Felder.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday the 20th of February 2021 at the First Presbyterian Church, 12 C Street in Salt Lake City, Utah with viewing at 1 pm and Memorial Service at 2 pm. Interment will be at Eagle Point National Veterans Cemetery near Medford Oregon next week.
Published in RUSSON MORTUARY AND CREMATORY from Feb. 19 to Feb. 20, 2021.