Jerry W. Guinn, 70, of Waco, passed away on August 24, 2021, at Ascension Providence Hospital surrounded by his loved ones after succumbing to Covid-19 pneumonia. A visitation will be from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, September 2, 2021, at the Grace Gardens Funeral Home Chapel in Waco, TX. Burial and graveside service will be 10:15 AM, Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery to be laid to rest near extended family.
Jerry was born December 22, 1950, in Muncie, Indiana, to Dean and Monnie Guinn. Subsequently, they moved to Cammack, Indiana. During high school, Jerry worked at Mr. Fifteen Hamburgers and then graduated from Yorktown High School in 1969.
Jerry foresaw the draft for the Vietnam War, so in 1970 he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where he went through basic training, security police school, patrol dog school, and combat training. Like many other military members, he visited the USO, where he met USO volunteer Jo A. Korndorffer. Their friendship continued through frequent letters when Jerry was sent to Vietnam from January 1971 through January 1972. In Vietnam, Jerry initially served as Security Police at Phu Cat Air Base. Later, he moved to Cam Ranh Bay where he served as Air Base Ground Defense. Accompanied by his military K-9 dog, they patrolled the woods at night to detect and stop the VietCong from attacking Cam Ranh Air Force Base.
Upon returning to the United States, he was stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas. He married Jo on August 19, 1972. Henceforth, Jerry considered himself a Texan.
After an honorable discharge in 1974, Jerry began a civilian career working in the food service industry. Ray and Patty Maddox gave Jerry his start by hiring him to work for Taco Bell in Austin, where he advanced to general manager of multiple stores. Jerry also delved into entrepreneurship, opening Guinn’s Produce. Later, Jerry relocated to central Texas, where he served in several roles including management of various restaurants and ownership of Archie’s Hamburgers. He also worked several years as a salesman for various food distribution companies.
After retiring, Jerry devoted his life to helping fellow Veterans by joining Waco VFW Post #2148 and volunteering at the Veterans One Stop and Doris Miller Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Since 2013, Jerry has attended the annual 483 SPS K-9 Reunion, reconnecting with his Vietnam K-9 friends.
He was a lifelong fan of boxing and baseball, specifically Muhammad Ali, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris. Jerry especially loved sharing his joy of fishing with family, friends, customers, and veterans.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Dean and Monnie Guinn; parents-in-law Paul and Sarann Korndorffer; and brother-in-law Paul “Skip” Korndorffer, Jr.
He is survived by wife Jo; son Jason and wife Maggie; brother Earl and wife Wallapa; brother Steve and wife Lisa; sister Mary Guinn Baker and husband Jimmy; niece Ashley Baker Evans and husband Derick; brother-in-law Gary Korndorffer and wife Sandy, and children Brandon, Katie, and Cody; sister-in-law, Lou Ann Masters; Linda Korndorffer; Ed Renk; and numerous grand nieces and grand nephews.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nursing staff at Ascension Providence Hospital Covid Unit and ICU for their dedicated care of Jerry.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Service Dogs for Veterans” program at the Dogtopia Foundation, www.dogtopiafoundation.org. When donating please leave the comment, “Funds should go directly to the Service Dogs for Veterans program at the Waco location in memory of Jerry Guinn.”
To send flowers to Jerry's family, please visit our floral store.