Gregory Alan Jerrell
April 14, 1961 - March 01, 2021
Obituary For Gregory Alan Jerrell
Gregory Alan Jerrell passed away on March 1, 2021 off the beautiful, turquoise waters of the Bahamas while pursuing his dream of sailing around the world with his wife and co-captain, Mary, aboard their sailboat, Remedy.
Greg possessed a zeal for life that overflowed into the lives of all who knew him. His heart was wide and deep. He loved and nurtured his children, who were his single greatest life adventure. He taught them the meaning of love and how to navigate life’s challenges. He loved playing with his grandchildren. The joyful laughter that filled his life was too plentiful to forget.
Born in Gainesville, FL on April 14, 1961, to his beloved parents Carl “Sonny” and Jean Jerrell, Greg would find his adventurous spirit early in life as he enjoyed all the many different places his family lived as a result of his own father's military career.
Greg moved from the Philippines to spend his first two years of high school in Alaska before his family transferred to San Antonio, Texas. He met Mary their junior year at South San Antonio High School West Campus. After graduating, he attended the University of Texas, San Antonio where he earned a BS in Geology on an ROTC scholarship, going on to earn his Master’s in Systems Management from USC. Greg was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force, beginning a 25 years military career which included assignments at Mather AFB, Plattsburgh AFB, Castle AFB, Little Rock AFB, Howard AFB-Panama, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Bragg, Naval Station Norfolk, and the Pentagon. He retired from the Air Force in 2010.
Greg began a second career with the FBI in January 2010, serving as a Crisis Management Specialist in the Counter-IED Section. Greg then moved on to serve as a Mission Planner and a Management and Program Analyst in the Forensic Response Section, Laboratory Division, until his retirement in January 2020
It was during his military and FBI service that he found many of his lifelong friends. Together they learned invaluable lessons of leadership and character which crossed rank and service. His career was characterized by impeccable integrity, sincere humility and compelling leadership. Greg visited over 60 countries on 6 continents, expanding and broadening his worldview as he discovered an intense love for travel and experiencing other cultures.
Greg married Mary Bojescul on July 9, 1983. He was a loving husband and father. He saw three of his children marry and lived to meet three grandchildren. He saw many of his dreams come true. With his insatiable desire to experience new horizons, Greg set out on his next journey, which was to learn the art of sailing with the ultimate goal of circumnavigating the globe. He and Mary began living that dream in 2018. He believed that life was either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Sailing brought him great joy. He smiled, laughed and shouted, living that ambitious dream until the day he died. Those who survive him have always felt that his life brimmed with love and joy. They are eternally grateful for his person, his example and his life. They are terribly sad that he has left so soon, but remain determined to celebrate Greg by following his example to make the most of loving and living. It was - and remains - a beautiful way to be.
Greg is survived by his parents, his wife, and what he called his seven children: daughter, Amanda Walters and her husband, Kenneth of Raleigh, NC; son, Tyler and his wife, Sara Kooij of Staunton, VA; son, Nathan of Missoula, MT; daughter, Alyssa Schechter and her husband, Arthur of Chicago, IL; his three grandchildren, Holden and Ainsley Walters and Adrian Schechter. He is also survived by his sister, Janet Bennett of St. Augustine, FL; sisters-in-law, Mathilda Ortiz of San Antonio, TX, Margaret Clinger and her husband, Raymond of Navarre, FL; brother-in-law, John Bojescul of San Antonio, TX; adopted brother, Brandon Pickell and his wife, Amanda of Leola, SD; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews; and dear lifelong friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at Renaissance Funeral Home, 7615 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC 27615. The memorial gathering will be private with an option to view online.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Greg to the Equal Justice Initiative, Innocence Project or to the Catholic Worker Movement. The family is especially grateful to the George Town Bahamas Sailing/Cruising Community, to Magda and José Acuña , to Vicky and Al Lohman, to Andrew Manson and FBI friends, the 310th/380th AREFS alumni, the NTNFC family and all others who have reached out to support us during this time.
The Memorial Service will be LIVE streamed on Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 6:30p.m. For the YouTube live stream, please go to Renaissance Funeral Home YouTube Page
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