Lifelong Mishawaka resident Jerome “Jerry” M. DeDapper, 72, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday June 13th, surrounded by his family and a few dear friends.
Jerry was born to Jerome DeDapper, Sr. and Stella (Kucenski) Sopczak, and was the stepson of Walter Sopczak. After graduating Mishawaka High School in 1965, Jerry enlisted in the Navy serving as a Cryptographer until he was honorably discharged in May 1971. Jerry was a Vietnam Veteran, earning the National Defense Service Medal.
On September 19, 1970, Jerry married the love of his life, Maria Vogel. They have two children.
Jerry was an active member of the Mishawaka community, serving on the Mishawaka City Council 6th District from 1992 to 1995. He was also involved in the start-up of the 5th Street Recycling Center and many recycling programs. Recognitions for Jerry’s contributions to the community include the designation of “Sagamore of the Wabash” on June 7, 1996 and the Key to the City of Mishawaka.
Jerry loved gardening and achieved the rank of Master Gardener on August 12, 1998 through Purdue University. He also held a Class A CDL with Hazmat Certification.
Jerry was an avid hunter and loved to fish in the St. Joe River, frequenting Monkey Island and Central Park. On Saturday mornings he could be found at the Farmer’s Market chatting up the vendors and buying treats for his family.
A loyal and generous friend, Jerry leaves behind cherished childhood friends Ernie Young, Johnie Wyatt, Jim Mondich, and cousin Lloyd (Bud) Lampert.
Jerry’s most important accomplishment was his family. He is survived by beloved wife Maria; son Joe and his wife Kimberley of Virginia; daughter Erin Spencer of Mishawaka; his three grandchildren: Samantha Spencer, Eric Spencer, and Zachary DeDapper; and his cat/bacon loving buddy Phoebe. He is also survived by sister Joyce and brother-in-law Robert Einfalt of Indianapolis, and three nephews and their families.
In lieu of a funeral service, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. At that time, Jerry will receive a military funeral honors ceremony. If you have a story to share of the impact Jerry had on your life, please email it to Jerry@DeDapper.com. The family asks that instead of flowers, donations be made in memory of Jerry to The Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516. Donations may be made online at https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/.
Arrangements are under the care of Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, Mishawaka.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jerome "Jerry" DeDapper, please visit our floral store.