Jerald Edwon “Jerry” Isenhart, Jr.
March 28, 1994 ~ April 3, 2014
Services for 20 year old, Jerald Edson Isenhart, Jr., a lifelong resident of Chelan, WA, were held Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Chelan High School Gymnasium, with Pastors Larry Garza and Kyle Plew co-officiating.
Jerry was born March 28, 1994, at Brewster, WA, the first of two sons of Jerry and Cecilia Isenhart of Chelan. Jerry’s walk with his faith began the day he was born, and it was the backbone of his strong personal character throughout his entire life. After Jerry was born, his mom and dad set up a nursery inside the family business (KOZI Radio), and Jerry became part of that family, too. He attended many community events with his parents and developed a better than average understanding of the benefits of living in a small community. Jerry had a fascination for technology, and it was hard to keep his fingers off the buttons. At least once, Jerry was the cause of KOZI Radio leaving the air unintentionally. Jerry grew up with computers, cell phones, and technology, and loved them all. He became a wizard at everything that was new, to the point that, between he and his brother, Willy, his Dad acquiesced to them as to what was the best way when it came to computers and cell phones. Jerry was exceptional on his X-Box, too, and loved to play football against his friends. He spent countless hours amongst online friends and loved to beat them using his calculated strategies.
Jerry was generally quiet, soft spoken, and said few words that weren’t important. He loved sports, the strategies of sports, and his teammates. He was honored to be part of the Chelan High School Class of 2012, and a member of an award winning football team that just kept getting better. He was offered football scholarships after high school, but opted to put his energies into his studies; he was highly motivated by many of his grade school and high school teachers to seek a degree in education. In the summer of 2012, between High School and starting classes at WSU, Jerry was selected to play one final game of football in the East-West All Star Football game at Yakima, along with teammate, Cole Schwartz. In typical Jerry style, he told his family, surely there are others more talented and qualified to play than he. In the end, he was called on to play both offensive and defensive line positions as a tackle and as a guard. Jerry began his first year at WSU in the fall of 2012, and, along with his girlfriend, Yanira Vargas, continued an active role in their common faith in God at Living Faith Fellowship in Pullman.
During Christmas break, he shared with his family that he was having horrible headaches, and in January, he was diagnosed with a grade-III Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain cancer. His 16 month battle against this horrible disease was an incredible testimony to his strength, character, and faith in God. In the last days of his life on earth, he shared with his mother, Cecilia, dad, Jerry, and brother, Will, that he was fearlessly ready to be with his Father in Heaven.
In early 2013, with an incredible outpouring community support, Jerry, his mom and dad, and brother, Willy, accompanied Jerry to Seattle for daily care at Swedish Hospital. That included two brain surgeries and extended days of radiation treatments. At Swedish Hospital, the “gentle giant” was quickly adopted by the men and women in all areas of that huge medical facility. During his time at Swedish, he had at least 20 extensive MRI’s, and he did them all without ever complaining or batting an eye. He repeatedly said he didn’t want pity. He told his family he trusted in God that “Thy will be done”. At one point near the peak of the Team Jr. outpouring of support in mid 2013, Jerry told his family he was uncomfortable with all the attention. Surely, he said, there are others far more in need than I. And, thus, we stepped back and allowed Jerry his privacy, as he requested. That was very difficult in some ways, because the community love was so amazing. To those who did so much, including Joyce Lippincott and the Team Jr. that she mustered together, we say the biggest “Thank You” we can shout. One day we’re sure you will all look up and see the clouds arranged to say the same.
Hoping that his cancer had been arrested, the family returned from Seattle in late Spring, and Jerry slowly, over the summer of 2013, tried to regain his strength and balance; both of which had been diminished. In the fall of 2013, Jerry asked to attend classes at Wenatchee Valley College, where he made a valiant attempt to further his recovery. It was too much, and he eventually withdrew from school and, shortly thereafter, the family traveled to Mexico to see his grandparents and other close family there. Upon their return in mid January 2014, Jerry started having increased pain and headaches, and Jerry and his immediate family all returned to Swedish Hospital, where he underwent a third brain surgery in an attempt to relieve his headache pain. It was during that stay that we learned Jerry’s cancer had metastasized to his spinal column.
On his 20th birthday, March 28, 2014, through the gracious love of his hometown community, Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Lake Chelan EMS made it possible for Jerry to be transported home, where he remained until passing on April 3, 2014, with his immediate family holding his hands and standing at his side.
The story of Jerry’s life is one of incredible strength and faith in God, all hidden behind his large frame and his soft heart. He was as good as any parent could want.
And his brother, Willy, who was always at his brother’s side for the last 16 months, is to be honored, too, for his loving service to his brother and their shared common faith in God.
Jerald Edson Isenhart, Jr. is survived by his mother, Cecilia Isenhart; brother, William Isenhart; half-brother, Stellan Giffin; and father, Jerald Edson Isenhart, Sr. He is also survived by his aunt and uncle, Anna and Alvaro Mendivil, and their family, Alejandra, Alvaro, and Alberto Mendivil, all of Manson. Jerald Edson Isenhart Jr. is also survived by his uncle, Dr. Bob Isenhart, DVM (Retired) and his wife, Tiny, of Brewster; his uncle, Dr. George Isenhart, MD, and wife, Dawn, of Eureka, CA; his uncle, Pastor Tom Isenhart and wife, Ranae, of Tacoma; and uncle, Dr. Mike Isenhart (DVM) and his wife, Robin, of Brewster; and many, many, many other cousins, nieces and nephews, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Uncle Mike and Aunt Robin are actually Jerry’s cousins… but he never knew them differently. Isn’t that true in most families?
May we all take a lesson from Jerald Edson Isenhart, Jr., and work hard at making the best of every day we have left in this life. It passes all too quickly, and has twists and turns we could never imagine. To those who have cared to read his story, it would be meaningful if you might take a silent moment of your own in meditation or prayer and honor Jerry, who, in his short 20 years, truly was the teacher he wanted to be.
Services for Jerald Edson Isenhart Jr. were held Saturday, April 12, 2014, at Chelan High Gym. A number of teachers and teammates were among those the family had asked to speak. The Memorial Service opened with a (family tradition) of Jerry’s Grandfather, Don Isenhart, singing (by recording) the “Lord’s Prayer”. Arrangements by Precht Rose Chapel, Chelan.