JERALD RAIFF HENNESS, 72, our beloved father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and friend, went to be with the Lord Jesus on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013.
Jerry was born on Nov. 13, 1940 in Whittier, Calif., to Marion G. and Marion E. Henness. He began school in a one-room schoolhouse in Garden Valley in 1947 and later graduated from El Dorado High School in 1958. Growing up with his brothers in Meadow Brook, near Garden Valley, Jerry loved telephones and became known by the local telephone company for occasionally climbing poles, tapping connections, and making calls home to his mother.
He attended Sierra College, graduating in 1961, and entered the U.S. Air Force serving as a missile maintenance technician from 1963-1967 and worked on the MinuteMan missiles. In 1968, he joined the California Highway Patrol and served with distinction 30 years before retiring in 1998. Over his lifetime, Jerry gained a wide range of occupational experience from electrician and irrigation technician, to driving school buses, forest fire water trucks, and funeral home vehicles. Jerry continued his education at California Missionary Baptist Institute & Seminary in 1973. He made a trip to the Holy Lands with a missionary group in 1976 and graduated from seminary in 1977.
Jerry will be dearly missed by his church congregation, Lighthouse Missionary Baptist Church. He was a faithful friend and servant, helping with church finances, transportation, web design, electrical work, and maintenance. Over the years, he traveled to assist with the construction of other Missionary Baptist Churches in Las Vegas, Colorado, and Washington State. In his spare time, Jerry was an avid family historian, enjoyed amateur radio, computers, web design, and caring for his two cats.
He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by two sons, James (Jim) M. Henness and Nina of Nashville, Tenn., and Jason R. Henness and wife Ann Baughman-Henness of Des Moines, Iowa; two brothers, Bill Henness of Helena, Mont., and Mike Henness and wife Rose of Ione, Calif. He had six grandchildren, Derrick Shaver, Natasha Shaver, Brianna Henness, Mariah Henness, and Bryce Baughman of Des Moines, Iowa; and Bryce Henness of Nashville, Tenn. He is also survived by a niece, Janel Caton and husband Jeff of Eagle, Colo., and three nephews, Steven Henness and wife Kerri of Columbia, MO, John Travis Henness of Ione, Calif., and (Michael) Cory Henness and wife Annie Schrantz-Henness of Ione, Calif.
In 2009, Jerry wrote these words requesting they be included in his obituary some day:
"Like most people my age, I have accomplished a number of things in my life, but those things are not important and need not be listed here. The thing that is important is my relationship with the Lord. I came into this world with nothing, and I'm leaving the same way. The only thing I am taking has already gone on before me, my works for God. I am compelled, constrained to say that: 'I LOVE JESUS, because He first loved me!' and ''Tis only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.'"
Friends and family are invited to a Memorial Service, Wednesday 10/2/2013, at 2:00 pm, Chapel of the Pines Funeral Home, 2855 Cold Springs Road, Placerville, CA. Online condolences may be posted at chapelofthepinesfunerals.com
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Jerry's name to Lighthouse Baptist, 5641 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines, CA, 95726, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX, 75015; or Kiwanis International, 2626 Woodland Trace Indianapolis, IN, 46268.