He was born April 23, 1936, in Dugger to James and Mary (Buckner) Jerrels.
On Nov. 20, 1989, he married Marcia Miller, and she survives.
He graduated from Union High School, in Dugger, and went on to serve in the United States Air Force, retiring after 36 years of service. He served in the Vietnam War and Desert Shield. He was a lifetime member of the Masonic Lodge in Bastrop, Texas and the VFW in Columbus as well as a member of the U.S. Air Force Association, the DAV, the 71 Shadow Group, the Wabash Valley Coon Hunters, and Peru Grace Brethren.
In addition to his wife, Marcia Jerrels, he is survived by two sons, Donald R. (Beth) Jerrels, Jr., Carmel and James Jerrels, North Charleston, South Carolina; two daughters, Sonia (Mark) Brooks, Ardmore, Ala., and Shelia Smith, Kokomo; one step-son, David (Pam) Diaz, Florida; one step-daughter, Deborah (Steve) Bales, Peru; five grandchildren, Chris Smith, Rachel Smith, Jacqueline (Scott) Bronson, Alex Brooks, and Ana Brooks; 12 step-grandchildren, Trischa (Louise) Cruz, Nicole (Jeremy) Gibson, Shane Douglas, Patrick (Kayla) Diaz, David Douglas, Michael Diaz, Steven Bales, Alex Diaz, Hanah Diaz, Lehua Diaz, Charles Diaz, and Abby Diaz; 10 step-great-grandchildren; and one sister, Etta (Eddie) Diehl, Linton.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home, Kokomo, with Pastor Dave Jodry officiating. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery with military honors.
Visiting hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home with a Masonic service to be held at 7:30. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association.
Online messages of condolence may be made at www.sunsetmemorygarden.com .