Gerald Hoepner Obituary (1971 – 2021) – Colorado Springs, CO

Gerald “Jerry” Edward Hoepner passed from life to life at the age of 50 on December 26, 2021 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jerry was born on October 2, 1971, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to Edward “Ed” Kerwin and Marie Pearl (Ihmels) Hoepner, the second of three children.
His early childhood was spent in Africa (Cameroon and Nigeria) then in Ames, Iowa before coming to Colorado Springs at the age of 13. He graduated from Doherty High School, having participated in Marching and Jazz Band, and went on to study at Grace University. in Omaha, Nebraska. Jerry preferred to work outdoors and made a career out of it working in camps, the City of Colorado Springs Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, and then for over twenty years with Cornella Brothers Excavating as a heavy equipment operator and production supervisor. .
He found love and a best friend, and on May 10, 2008 he married Melissa Susannah (Oltmann) Hoepner. In 2009, with the birth of their daughter, Quinn May Hoepner, he became a proud father.
Jerry was a giant of a man, both physically but also in mind and spirit. Although his stature might at first be intimidating, he was one of the sweetest, kindest and most loving people you would ever have the pleasure of meeting. He offered his family, friends and peers a wholeness and authenticity of relationship, and he was affectionately called Jer-Bear by his family, whom he loved deeply and were devoted to both near and far.
Jerry was constantly curious; read, learn new things and develop skills. He would be dizzy to find the “right” or the best way to do something: smoke a pig butt in the smokehouse, dig a better hole, brew a cup of coffee, create the best motorhome set up for a weekend to the mountains, fly a kite, or design and sew a better everyday carry bag. That same joy and curiosity he brought to the pursuit of God and the deepening of his Christian faith.
He was passionate about relationships and loved to sit down for a good meal, preferably a barbecue, and a long chat. He lived his faith in the context of the community: his high school youth group at Faith EV Free Church, a camp staff member in Hidden Acres, Iowa, helping lead worship at Bridges at First Pres, a trip missionary to Egypt, and leader and participant in men’s Bible studies at Rocky Mountain Calvary.
Jerry was Melissa’s beloved husband and Quinn’s doting father. He will also be deeply missed by his parents, Ed and Marie Hoepner; brother-in-law, Paul Jaeger of Colorado Springs, Colorado; sister and husband, Brenda and Jeff Wright, and nephew and niece, Micah and Elsa Wright of Lakewood, Colorado. He will also be remembered by his mother-in-law, Doris Oltmann; siblings-in-law, Jeff (Phyllis) Oltmann and Eric Oltmann; nephew, Eric Oltmann II; and loving aunts, uncles, cousins, many lifelong friends and a host of pets.
He joins his sister, Kristine “Kris” Jaeger; and stepfather, Marvin Oltmann; in the fullness of God’s endless joy with their Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Join our family for a memorial service at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, February 19, 2022, Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel, 4285 North Academy Blvd., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918.
There will be a live stream of the service at for those unable to attend.
As expressions of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Colorado Beagle Rescue ( The wacky antics and love of our family’s adopted beagles have brought comfort and smiles through the tough times of this past year and Jerry’s illness. Memorials may also be made to our church family, Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel (
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald “Jerry” Edward Hoepner, please visit our Tribute Shop.

Posted by The Springs Funeral Services ~ NORTH on January 17, 2022.

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