Mr. Jerry Lynn Hulett of Newport departed this life on Sunday, December 27, 2015, at the age of 68 following a valiant fight with early onset Alzheimer’s. He was born in Newport on May 1, 1947.
Jerry grew up on Walnut Street in Newport, the favorite neighborhood street of the 40’s and 50’s. He loved to talk of his adventures and friends in the neighborhood and the many hours he spent on the curb at the Walnut Street Elementary School. Jerry was a 1965 graduate of Newport High School. He was a devoted Greyhound fan, spending countless Friday nights watching his girls as Whippets and Cheerleaders. Jerry attended his last NHS football game to watch his great-nephew, McCabe, play in 2014. Following high school, he attended Arkansas State College.
He considered Swifton to be his second home. Jerry and his sister Linda spent countless hours at their grandparent’s home. Jerry was the first grandchild born to Opal and Ray McNutt; they shared an unbreakable bond. Much of Jerry’s sweet, loving, and generous spirit he inherited and learned from the many hours he spent with his Papa Ray.
Jerry married his high school sweetheart, Linda Diane Coe, on June 9, 1967, then later enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 15, 1968. He went to Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and then transferred to the Missile Training Program at Huntsville, Alabama, before being stationed in Fischbach bei Dahn, Germany, to work on the Missile Base there during the Vietnam War. Diane joined Jerry as soon as the Army allowed, and they made their home in Fischbach for the next two years. They found lifetime friends, traveled to many interesting places, and became parents for the first time while in Germany. Mae Carol Hulett was born September 17, 1969, in Frankfurt, Germany. Jerry counted the memories they made there as some of his most treasured.
He was discharged from the U.S. Army on January 15, 1971. Jerry and Diane made their home in Newport with Mae Carol in tow. He joined his parents in the family business at Jackson’s Funeral Homes. Jerry had worked on and off since he was a teenager at the funeral home. Although he tried other jobs, his heart always led him back to the funeral business. Jerry enrolled in the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, moved his family to Dallas, and graduated as a licensed mortician in 1972. He began doing what he did best, serving people. Jerry loved to work; he enjoyed getting to know the many families he cared for and serving alongside his Jackson's Funeral Homes family.
Jerry had a natural talent at most everything he attempted. Some would call it “just plain lucky” and others could see that his fiercely competitive nature made him practice at things until he was the best. Jerry never did anything half way. He woke up on go and traveled through his day at 100 mph. Jerry worked hard, played hard, and loved deeply. He never tired of playing jokes on people; many have fallen prey to his “wolf whistle” and ended up with a face full of powder. Jerry was a master at sneaking up to scare people and loved wearing the scariest masks he could find. Jerry even wore his “best monster mask” at the wedding reception of his middle daughter, Jenny.
Jerry was an avid outdoorsman, a skilled fisherman and hunter. He spent many hours hunting deer, squirrel, dove, turkey, and frog gigging. He and his youngest daughter, Laura, enjoyed many hunting and fishing adventures. Jerry enjoyed gardening and raised many gardens at his homes on Gracelawn, Teresa, and Main Streets. He loved sharing his vegetables and his deer meat with friends everywhere. Always tender hearted, he rescued many cats, dogs, and even a few people, needing help along the way.
Jerry was a collector. He loved Gulf, Coca-Cola, Dodge, and just about any other vintage memorabilia he could find. He loved fixing up his “barn” with his antique Dodge Charger and Challenger. Jerry spent many hours displaying the things he loved. He enjoyed having the Coe Family Christmas and many Class of 1965 Reunion parties there. Jerry took great pride in buying, restoring, and selling many cars and motorcycles over the years.
He was an active member of the community. Jerry was a member of the Newport Lions Club for 39 years and was 4th in Seniority of the Club. He was a lifetime member of the Collier-Massey V.F.W. Post 4683 and the Neil-Griffin American Legion Post 47. He was also a participant in New Vision Newport Class 5 and then went on to mentor for Classes 7,8 and 9. He was the oldest New Vision member to ever climb the telephone pole and jump off. Jerry served on the Jackson County Quorum Court from 2009 to 2014. He ran for Jackson County Coroner in 1977, took office in January of 1978, and served in that position until December 31, 1998.
Jerry adored his family above all and enjoyed spending time with them at the lake and river, skiing, camping, and just having fun. Some of his fondest memorie were hosting family and friends at his “Deer Camp” in Saddle. This fun-loving jokester, kind hearted and generous man, will be missed by many. His stories and pranks will be shared with smiles for many years to come.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Joyce McNutt Jackson and E. Bob Jackson; his father, W. O. Hulett, Jr. and wife, Polly; his father-in-law, Raymond Coe; one brother-in-law, Gene Coe; and one sister, Evelyn Garner.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 48 years, Diane Coe Hulett, of the home; three daughters, Mae Carol Hulett Allen and husband, Scott, of Newport; Jenny Hulett Wiggers and husband, Chris, of Edmond, Oklahoma; Laura Hulett Edelen and husband, George, of Van Buren; grandchildren, Colton and Ryan Allen; Jaydon, Landon, and Lilly Wiggers; Trevor and Rayley Edelen; and Beth Ball and her children, Tripp, Laken, and Adalie Smith. Also surviving are three sisters, Linda Hulett Pfeifer and husband, Frank, of Conway; Donna Hulett Hoffman and husband, Jim, of St. Louis, Missouri; and Jan Jackson Maris and husband, Rhett, of Newport; his mother-in-law, Virginia Coe of Newport; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and a lifetime of friends.
Friends may visit at the funeral home Wednesday, December 30, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Services will be held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, December 31, 2015, at Jackson’s Newport Funeral Home Chapel with Mr. Llano Robinson and Mr. Jon Chadwell officiating. Interment will be in Walnut Grove Cemetery.
Those honored to serve as pallbearers are Scott Allen, George Edelen, Steve Cordell, McCabe Cordell, Donald Roberts, and Gary Don Bennett. Honorary pallbearers will be past and present employees of Jackson's Funeral Homes and those with whom he fostered professional friendships throughout the years.
The Hulett family would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the staff of Lindley Healthcare and Jerry's private sitters for their love and care these last few months.
Memorials may be made to the Jackson County Humane Society, P.O. Box 154, Newport, Arkansas 72112 or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue 7th Floor, New York, New York 10001.
To sign the online guest register, leave a message of condolence, or light a memorial candle, please visit our website at www.jacksonsfh.com.
Arrangements by Jackson’s Newport Funeral Home.