Jerry died peacefully on February 7, 2015, in Denver, Colorado, from complications of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Jerry was born September 12, 1948, in Dayton, Ohio, to Sam and Lucy Keker. He grew up outside Washington, D.C., where he was a Boy Scout, basketball player, and lover of nature. As a boy, he terrified his family by keeping a zoo of amphibians and reptiles in the basement of the family home. After high school, Jerry enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1967, served in Vietnam as a Reconnaissance Marine, trained in sky diving, underwater demolition and counterinsurgency warfare. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received in combat. After his service, he graduated from the University of Hawaii, financing his education by working as a teamster on the Alaska Pipeline. While in college, he was a champion sky diver, setting records for star formations over Hawaii. After college, Jerry became active in Democratic politics in suburban Maryland, took up chess and started a program of teaching the game to inmates in county jails. In 2004, he moved to Boulder, Colorado, to live a serious outdoor life: skiing, playing tennis and most of all taking huge hikes on the Continental Divide and Pacific Crest trails, including all 500 miles of the Colorado Trail. Jerry is survived by his mother, Lucy S. Keker of Chevy Chase, Maryland, his brother and sister-in-law, John and Tina Keker of San Francisco, California, and by two nephews, Adam Keker of San Francisco, California, and Nathan Keker of Oakland, California. The family would welcome hearing memories of Jerry from his friends, in Colorado and Maryland, by email to [email protected]
Published by Denver Post from Feb. 20 to Feb. 21, 2015.