LTC Jerome “Jerry”, known around the house as “J” or “Daddy”, Louis Fleming, USAF, Retired, passed away unexpectedly on April 28, 2018. Jerry was born in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was a graduate of Mississippi State University where he participated in the ROTC program. He served as an F-4 and A-10 Jet Fighter Pilot in the United States Air Force, including serving in the Vietnam campaign. He was also one of the Air Force demonstration pilots. After retiring in 1991, he worked as a contractor on Eglin Air Force Base and was instrumental in developing the Mission Planning Program. He worked on Eglin till the time of his death.
Jerry is survived by his loving wife “Lil” of Valparaiso, FL, his daughter Bridgette of TX, 5 siblings, Sandra Smith of TX, John Fleming and Terry Green of MS, John and Jerry DeJaco of CA, his Eglin family as well as many longtime friends in the area.
Jerry truly embodied the spirit of the idea that work was not only necessary but essential to the contribution of the common good. He loved to eat healthy, exercise and take family walks with his wife Lil and their dogs, Wilson and Lilli. He looked forward to a 4:30 a.m. wake up call to spend the day working either at Eglin or at home. When asked by his wife 3 weeks ago if he thought he had a good life he smiled his beautiful smile and said, “Yes, Lil, it’s been very good.”
Jerry was a strong person with a good heart. He helped many of his friends and family till the end. His philosophy about life in general was that worry was better left to those who do it best. That he could solve any problem given the chance to “get the right perspective” and that having fear was alright if you didn’t let it take over. He withheld judgement of others and was willing to give everyone a fair chance. He believed in his work to be fair to “the user”. Jerry had a quick wit, a contagious laugh, and a pension for seeing the humor in life’s circumstances. He loved dark chocolate, chocolate cake, diet root beer and Chinese buffet.
We will all miss Jerry for our own reasons. He will continue to live in the hearts of those who liked and loved him.
We would like to thank him for his lifetime of service to his country. He truly represented the “service after service” ideal.
There will be a time of visitation held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 from 12:00 – 1:00pm at Heritage Gardens Funeral Home. A Celebration of his life will begin at 1:00pm. Interment will take place in Barrancas National Cemetery.