There is no way I could tell you in 500 words or less the kind of man Walter (Jake) Jasper was. He was a soldier, a sheet metal worker, and, in the later years of his life, an elementary school custodian. He had a work ethic that is unparalleled by any person, man or woman, I’ve met in my twenty-one years of life. He was kind, though often snarky and misunderstood. He was funny, but always bold and brave when he needed to be. He was the best man I will likely ever know, and I’m the girl who was blessed enough to call him a Granddad and, more importantly, a Bud.
Jake was born on June 24, 1939 in Shamokin, a small Pennsylvania coal town. He didn’t grow up with grand dreams or the means to make such dreams come true. So, when he was able, he joined the United States Air Force and set out on what would be the most adventurous four years of his life.
The service brought him to Fort Walton Beach, Florida where he met the love of his life at Tower Beach. And it was the words “The bet is I can’t dunk you” that sealed the deal. Jake married Brenda Riley and spent fifty-five years loving and caring for her. During those years, Jake promised Brenda a football team, but in 1967 he gave her the cheerleader, their daughter Joanie. When he laid eyes on his perfect little girl, he decided the football team wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I’m sure he never thought it could get better, but in 1997 his little girl had a little girl of her own and from that day on, Jake had the most unexpected best friend. Me. His granddaughter.
Granddad and I did everything together from setting off foam rockets in the house to wreaking havoc on the Dollar Tree and Sam’s Club. No matter how big or small the adventure, we were in it together until the very end.
That end came on September 6, 2018 when my Bud took his last breath with his two girls at his side. He will be forever loved and missed by all who knew him.
In addition to his daughter, Joanie, and granddaughter, Jenni, Walter is survived by his son-in-law Duane Beaver; brother Joe Jasper and family; sister-in-law Roberta Jasper and family; numerous nieces and nephews; and his many friends who will forever cherish his kindness and sense of humor. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clara Dombroskie and Adolph Jasper; his older brother Sonny Jasper; and the love of his life, who he proudly met at Heaven’s gates.
The viewing time for family will be Sunday September 9, 2018 from 3-4 PM. The public visitation will follow the family viewing at 4-6 PM. The funeral will be held on Monday September 10, 2018 at 2 PM with family arriving at 1:15 to the Emerald Coast Funeral Home. The burial will take place at Beal Memorial Cemetery.