Gerald “Jerry” Ray Hoover, age 91, of Inverness, IL, passed away on March 19, 2023. He was born February 1, 1932 in Dayton, OH to his loving parents, James and Anna (née Shank) Hoover.
After graduating high school, Jerry enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951. He was stationed in England during the Korean War, and served four years before being honorably discharged in 1955. He earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Jerry’s love of airplanes continued through his work for TWA and US Air, where he had a wonderful staff.
Jerry met his first wife, Helen Whale, during his military service at Wethersfield Air Base in England. They were married for 38 years before her passing in 1992. He later married his second wife, Shirlie Spenk, and they were married for 24 years, during which they traveled and saw much of the United States together, before her passing in 2016.
Jerry was a family-first guy and he was very proud of his family. He was devoted and steadfast in his love for both his wives, and was a wonderful, larger-than-life father to his two daughters. He was always there to pick them up when they fell, brush away their tears when they cried, and be a source of happiness when he brought home their first puppy. He taught them right from wrong, offered suggestions and guidance when they were lost and unsure, and shaped them into the strong independent women they are now. Jerry was also a big fan of baseball, and passed that love to his daughters.
In his daughter Carol’s words …
Pop and I became very close upon my mom Helen’s passing; we were each other's support and shoulder to cry on. He was a part-time handyman, but a full-time dad, and we had many good times together. He was truly the greatest man I’ve ever known, and I will miss him every day.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, James and Anna Hoover; first wife, Helen Whale Hoover; and second wife, Shirlie Spenk Hoover. He is survived by his daughters, Carol Thompson and Mary Cech; brothers, Jimmy Hoover and David Hoover; niece, Diana (late Chuck Bergstrom) Hoover; and nephew, David Hoover.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 12:00pm, Thursday, April 6, 2023 at River Valley Memorial Gardens, 14N689 Route 31, West Dundee, IL 60118. Fr. Cesar Pajarillo will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Jerry’s name to Chicago Animal Care and Control.
Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home. For more information, call 847-741-1128.
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