Dr. Jerry Wayne Hope

Published 4:33 pm Friday, October 9, 2020

Dr. Jerry Wayne Hope

Dr. Jerry Wayne Hope, Colonel, U.S. Army (retired), a resident of Enterprise, entered Heaven on Sunday, Oct. 4. He passed while cradled in the loving arms of his wife, daughter, and granddaughter. He was 73. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and loved him. He touched so many lives during his time here on earth.

Celebration of Life Services will be held Saturday, Oct. 170 at 2 p.m. in Sunset Funeral Home Chapel. Military Honors will follow in Sunset Memorial Park. Family will receive friends at the funeral home from 1-2 p.m. on the day of the service.

Dr. Hope was born on July 6, 1947 in Wilsonville and a 1965 graduate of Shelby High School. After high school, he attended Berry College on a baseball scholarship. He was drafted into the US Army in 1967 and attended OCS training at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In 1968, he went to Vietnam as an Engineering Platoon Leader. In May 1970, he trained as a helicopter pilot, making the Commandant’s List during rotary wing qualification, and received his Aviator Wings. From 1971-1972, he served another tour in Vietnam as a Chinook pilot. During that second tour of Vietnam, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions in making three resupply trips into a base under heavy attack. During the third run into the base, his helicopter was badly damaged, but he was able to return the helicopter and crew safely to base. He was a member of the Army Reserve and the Alabama Army National Guard from 1973 to 1983.

He graduated with honors in 1977 from the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) with a degree in Biology. He entered UAB School of Medicine in 1978 and graduated with his Medical Doctor degree in 1982. While a senior in medical school, he attended the Flight Surgeon Course at Fort Rucker. In 1984, he completed his master’s degree in public health (MPH) at UAB. He completed residencies and was dually board certified in both family practice and aerospace medicine. He was a member of the American Medical Association and the Aerospace Medical Association.

Dr. Hope served in several positions within the Army Medical Corps, including the US Army Safety Center Flight Surgeon, the Division Surgeon for the 2ID, the Deputy Commander for Clinical Services at Lyster Army Hospital and the Dean of the US Army School of Aviation Medicine. In 1988, he was awarded one of the Army’s highest medical awards, the U.S Army Aerospace Medicine Specialist of the Year by the Society of U.S. Army Flight Surgeons.

Dr. Hope retired from the military in 1996 with the rank of Colonel but was extremely proud that he had also served as an Enlisted Soldier from 1966 to 1967, before being commissioned as a second lieutenant. He was truly a Soldier’s Soldier and a great American Hero. He received numerous military awards during his Army career, including The Honorable Order of Saint Michael, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medals and Air Medals.

After retirement from the Army, he selflessly gave his whole heart to serving the Dothan community at Flowers Hospital as an Emergency Room doctor and then most recently, and up until his passing, served as the Medical Director and Chief Physician at OCCMED Solutions in Dothan.

Generous in every way, he was kind and humble and will be fondly remembered as a compassionate and hardworking physician that committed every single day to serve anyone and everyone in need of medical care. He had a passion for trauma and emergency care and taught numerous medical courses to other doctors and nurses within the local community on advanced life support techniques. He was a character, fun to be around and always lit up a room with his smile and his jokes.

Dr. Hope left a huge legacy for his family of being an Auburn Tigers fan and passed his love for football, sports and all things Auburn to his girls. He was a down to earth guy, referred to lovingly as “Big Daddy”, who loved his family fervently, without reserve, and referred to his wife, daughter, and granddaughters as “His Girls.” Dr. Hope was extremely caring and was a great provider for his family and a loyal friend to many who simply called him “Doc.”

Dr. Hope was preceded in death by his parents, Rex and Minnie John Partridge Hope; his father and mother-in-law, William and Emma Jane Anderson; and his sister, Kay Sanford.

Survivors include his devoted wife of 52 years, Carolyn Jane Akins Hope; his doting daughter, Bethany Jayne Hope (Clay) Wadsworth; his two granddaughters whom he adored, Carolyn Grace Hope (Preston) Griffin and Sara Harper Pittman; his brother, LaVon Hope; his sisters, Donna Cox and Alice Patridge; all his OCCMED Solutions Family (also “his girls”).

The family would like to give special thanks to Rebecca Williams, Hope Lewis and Amy Brinkley who were a great help and gave such loving support during his recent illness; and his long-time friend, whom he loved dearly, Danny Shiver.

Robert Byrd of Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home, (334) 983-6604, directing.