NEIL DOUGLAS JERVIS
April 8, 1950
September 26, 2009
Neil Douglas Jervis danced through the final finish line of his life on Saturday, September 26, 2009. He was in the arms of his wife, Sara.
He had fought a courageous battle with colon cancer for almost four years.
Neil was born in Port Angeles on April 8, 1950, to G. Emmett and Marguerette Jervis. He was a welcomed surprise and joined his sister, Beverly, who was 11, and his brother, Jack, who was 9.
Neil loved being the adored little brother and spoke often of his early youth, which was spent camping, hunting and fishing the Olympic Peninsula with his family.
Neil attended Port Angeles schools and graduated in 1969. He spent his teens enjoying the outdoors, but added the thrill of fast cars and motorcycles to his list of fun things to do with his friends.
He met Sara Raymond in 1970, and they married November 10, 1973, at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.
They welcomed their son, Ryan, to the family in 1975, and their daughter, Christina, arrived in 1978.
His family became the love of his life, and the legacy he left them with was his adoration for nature, his ethic of hard work and his sense of gentleness in the world.
Neil worked for Peninsula Plywood for 17 years. After the mill closed, he worked for Swain's General Store in the sporting goods department.
Neil was the consummate handyman. He did many, many projects around the house. Mechanically minded, there wasn't much Neil couldn't fix, and he loved the challenge of finding a way to change or improve something.
He and Sara spent many years hiking and mountaineering in Olympic National Park. Together they traveled the trails and the traverses, and climbed many summits.
In the early 1990s, Neil and Sara were members of Clallam County Sheriff's Volunteer Search and Rescue. They participated in several successful rescues during that time.
Although Neil loved all of nature, he particularly enjoyed the high country, and in winter his love was skiing.
His favorite ski trips were made to Canada with big groups of friends -- he always thought that friends were what gave life its zest.
In 2000, Neil discovered running and ran his first marathon in Vancouver, British Columbia. After that, there was no stopping him.
He ran other marathons and area 10K races, and was a founding member of Port Angeles Marathon Association.
The Olympic Discovery Marathon became his favorite race, and if he wasn't volunteering for it, he was running it.
He said his slowest time was the half-marathon in 2006, but it was his best time, as he was able to run it within six months of his diagnosis.
Neil went on to raise money for the cancer center through the OMC Foundation by running the Phoenix Marathon in 2008.
Neil's best friend in his adult life was Tom Riepe, and Neil considered him more of a brother than a friend.
It was through Tom that Neil found multi-sport racing. He signed up for Ironman Canada in 2002 for the 2003 race.
It did not seem to bother him that he did not know how to swim and that the race would demand a 2.4 mile swim.
That is how Neil approached life --he just learned to swim.
He brought Sara into the sport and they competed together in 2005, side by side and hand in hand.
When Neil was diagnosed, he created his bucket list. He traveled to Europe to see his daughter in Germany and visited the Black Forest region, Bavaria, France, and his favorite: a ride through the Alps to Innsbruck, Austria.
Back in the states, he and wife, along with the Riepes, also visited Zion and Bryce Canyons. He also enjoyed a ski trip to Colorado.
But the No. 1 spot on the list was another ironman, which he completed with a personal record time in 2007.
Neil is survived by his wife, Sara; son, Ryan, and his children, Vanson and Sydney; daughter, Christina (Dave) Ratliff, and their children, Juliette, Wyatt and Garrett; sister, Beverly (Jim) Huffman; brother, Jack; mother-in-law, Daphne Raymond; brother-in-law, Howard Raymond; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Brian Raymond.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Peninsula Trails Coalition or Volunteer Hospice.
There will be a potluck gathering and remembrance to celebrate Neil's life from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, October 2, at the Peninsula College Longhouse.