Obituary: Gerald L. Ames Sr.
Gerald L. Ames Sr., 75, of Okanogan, Wash., passed away at home March 18, 2012. Jerry was born on April 17, 1936, in a small cabin on the east county road two miles north of Twisp, Wash., to Charles and Pearl Ames.
Jerry attended Lake City (Seattle), Twisp and Winthrop schools and graduated as a “Pirate” in the Winthrop Class of 1955. He was notorious for his skills in basketball and other sports. He was credited as assisting in a team effort water submerged vehicle rescue in Mazama, Wash., at age 19.
After high school, Jerry enlisted in the U. S. Air Force and worked as an air traffic control operator on board the four-engine, propeller-driven early radar detection Super Connie #30554. Jerry was also noted for his basketball skills representing his squadron in regulated inter-base competitions. His passion for aviation included earning a commercial pilot rating with American Flyers in June of 1961. Ames received an honorable discharge from the USAF reserve Sept. 7, 1961.
Post military service, Ames returned to the Methow Valley and farming. With sheer determination and constant “pestering,” Jerry landed an entry level job with the U.S. Forest Service. He progressed to an engineering level in forest road construction at the Twisp compound and retired after 25 years of federal service while working at the Okanogan soils testing laboratory.
Jerry earned additional education at Wenatchee Valley College with associate in art and general studies degrees in 1978 and was included in the Dean’s List and Presidential Honor Roll. Alternate energy research and development was another one of Jerry’s passions.
At the forefront of the emerging wind and PV technologies, Jerry constructed with an “it works” approach, a fully operational off-the- grid house system in Okanogan, Wash. The system was featured in an article and on the front cover of issue No. 4 of Home Power Magazine (1988) and also published in issue No. 6 for additional developments.
His system is still fully operational at 25 years of service.
Jerry is also noted for his abilities and credited with “witching” over 52 drilled water wells in Okanogan County. With a near perfect track record for hitting water at both location and depth, Jerry never charged a fee for his services.
He believed it to be a natural God-given gift intended for sharing to the benefit of others.
Jerry is preceded in passing by his wife, Beverly Ames; dad, Charles Ames; mother, Pearl; and brothers, Pete and George. He is survived by first wife, Elaine Omachi; daughter, Debra Reynolds and family; son, Gerald Ames Jr. (Jay) and family. Jerry also is survived by the families of Beverly Ames, including Cindy and Jim Lobe and family, Barbie and Chris Harlow and family, Debbie and Vince Adolph.
For all who wish to attend and share in the “giving life” of Jerry Ames, the viewing will be at Precht-Harrison Chapel at 2547 Elmway, Okanogan, Wash., from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2012. A funeral service will be conducted by Pastor Kevin Schnake at Trinity Lutheran Church at 102 W. 4th Ave., Omak, Wash., at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, 2012.
Graveside services with be at Okanogan Valley Memorial Gardens on Conconully Highway. Friends and family are invited for a luncheon back at the church following the graveside service.
Precht-Harrison-Nearents Chapel is caring for the arrangements.