Gerald Elwood Mokma
Gerald Elwood Mokma passed away peacefully on April 21, 2011 in San Rafael. He was born July 16, 1923, to Frederick and Gertrude Mokma in Clam Lake, Mich. He left high school at age 17 to help support his family in a time of crisis, but pursued his GED through night classes, becoming a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
He married his war-time sweetheart, Evelyn Zimmerman, in 1946 and together they moved to Oakland. He went on to earn his sssociate's degree in fire science and become a captain in the Oakland Fire Department. Jerry and Evelyn had four children together, a son and three daughters, and had the pleasure of watching them grow up, get married and each have three children of their own.
Jerry loved to work and he loved to play. Hunting, fishing, golf and ping-pong were some of his favorite activities, but central to his life and deepest in his heart was his love of God and family. This love reached out beyond the sphere of his wife and children to his extended family, church family and to neighbors and friends. He and Evelyn welcomed many, sharing their home and their hearts in generous hospitality. They were founding members of the Neighborhood Church in Oakland, where they served for many years. In later life they were a vital part of Shiloh Christian Fellowship, serving as elders and opening their home to love and re-parent many hurting young people.
In 1992, Jerry and Evelyn moved to Sonoma to be closer to family. Jerry enjoyed being an active resident of the Chantarelle community, golfing and going to SIRs luncheons with his neighbors. He and Evelyn joined Sonoma Christian Fellowship, becoming the "honorary grandparents" to many and were loved and respected by the whole congregation. They gave generously of their time and money to innumerable charitable activities, cheerfully supporting everything from high school bake sales to veteran's associations.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Evelyn, of 65 years; and his children, daughter, Donna and son-in-law, Bill Gruenholz; his son, Dan and daughter-in-law, Terry Mokma; his daughter, Becky and son-in-law, Larry Moore (longtime residents of Sonoma); his daughter, Betsy and son-in-law Jeff Smith; and his adopted daughter, Marilyn. An enthusiastic Grandpa, Jerry was blessed by and greatly enjoyed his 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Throughout his life he touched hundreds with the work of his hands, the strength of his determination and the generosity of his heart.
Friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at Sonoma Christian Fellowship, 170 Andrieux St., Sonoma, CA 95476.
Private interment was held at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery located in Dixon. Inquiries can be made to Duggan's Mission Chapel at 996-3655 or at www.duggansmissionchapel.com.