Long time Camp Courageous Board Member and dear friend of the camp, passes at the age of 90, in an airplane accident.

Jerry next to his Aztec airplane.
Jerry & Dave Naylor kneeling next to a couple of Vipers at Viper Days in Texas, 1999.
Jerry and his wonderful wife, Betty.
Jerry entertains guests as his home, including a few fellow board members Carl & Teddy Wazac in 1999.
Jerry spent many years on the race track.
Jerry was proud to be one of the original Shrine Flying Fez, taking children to Shrine Hospitals.
Jerry and David Naylor and their Aztec.
Helping families…

Jerry Naylor was a character…and that is why so many of us enjoyed every minute we had with him.  He was full of life and excitement and adventure.  He loved airplanes, fast cars, and most importantly helping others.  Everything Jerry did, he had fun doing.

I’m guessing he may have been a little bit of a Dennis-the-Menace growing up.  I remember visiting with brother, Jack, who was 14 months older than Jerry.  We visited about Eloise Helgen’s 90th Birthday Party.  Eloise was Jack’s third grade teacher and she wrote on his report card, “Jack tends to be a little mischievous”.  Eloise said she didn’t remember that…and Jack whips out his third grade report card.  Jack said there was a little brotherly rivalry when it came to mischief.

Jerry joined the Camp Courageous Board in 1987, at the recommendation of Dr. Lyman Perkins and later the Camp Courageous Perpetual Fund Board.  Jerry was a very positive person and a delight to have on the board.   Jerry was one of those who had faith in me, back when I was a 25-year-old and just starting at camp.  For that, and so much more, I will be forever grateful to him!

Just after camp’s main lodge was completed in 1990, a tornado tore through Scotch Grove and completely destroyed Jerry & Betty Naylor’s home.  They were in Colorado at the time.  Board members, friends, and strangers helped pick-up everything that was scattered all over the country side and brought it to the basement of the camp’s main lodge.  Upon returning, Jerry and Betty took the destruction in stride…life would go on…and they quickly began to rebuild their home and the business, Naylor Seed, which was started by Jerry’s Dad.

In 1999 Skip Thomas, representing Viper Days (Dodge Sports Car) called and said they would like to donate the proceeds from their Viper Days, which was to be held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to Camp Courageous.  Skip asked if the camp could be represented there?  “Sure, no problem,” was the quick response.  I called Jerry, being a board member, and asked what he thought about flying down.  Jerry, and his son, Dave, were on board and off we went.  We sincerely felt the Viper group had made a mistake in choosing Camp Courageous.  At the banquet at a very exclusive country club, we did the camp program and they presented a check.  After I had the check, I asked Skip, if they had made a mistake…we are just a little camp in Iowa serving campers with special needs.  Skip replied, “We knew what we were doing.  We could have chosen a national charity and made no difference…or we could choose Camp Courageous, where we knew we would make a difference and would be appreciated.”  We had a wonderful time with Jerry, and he felt right at home with the Vipers racing the Corvettes.

I was fortunate over the years to have hundreds of memorable experiences with Jerry.  He could tell the best real life stories about his adventures and a few close calls.

Jerry Naylor will be dearly missed by the thousands of campers he helped at Camp Courageous, and hundreds of children he flew to the Shriner Hospitals, and the thousands of others he helped in so many different ways.