Hal Jeffers

Hal JeffersHal Jeffers passed away Aug. 15, 2020, at home with family members. He was 89 and died from natural causes.

Hal was much loved in the Indian Wells Valley through his years as an Elder in the Church of Christ, and later as a member of the Ridgecrest United Methodist Church. He was also well-known and respected for his work at China Lake, most notably in his years as Range Safety Officer.

Hal Jeffers was born June 23, 1931, in Chicago, Ill. He grew up in Mattoon, Illi., and went to the University of Illinois graduating with a BA in physics. He enrolled in the College ROTC and upon graduation served as an officer in the U.S. Army signal corp for 21 months, followed by 5 ½ years in the reserve. He specialized in analysis of electronic counterintelligence, contributing to the U.S. effort during the Korean War.

While in Washington D.C. he met Mary Hancock (later Jeffers) washing dishes at a church function and on June 19th, 1955 they began a marriage that lasted until the day he died.

In 1963 he and his family moved out to a small desert town for what was supposed to be a two-year assignment. They have lived in the valley ever since.

Hal Jeffers found new ways to contribute after moving out here. A long-time member of the Church of Christ, he became an Elder in the local congregation, shepherding it through many trials and gaining a reputation for being a good shepherd. He moved to civil service, working his way up to Range Safety Officer at the Naval Weapons Center. That is the role for which he is most known and for which he received numerous awards, including the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award upon retirement.

He was more proud of the often humorous, but sincere, awards given him by the people who depended upon him for their safety. When the SNORT track was torn up, the workers gave him a chunk of it as a memento.

In 1993 he retired, spending his time with children, grandchildren, gardening, and studying any subject that met his fancy. Sometime later he and Mary began attending the Ridgecrest United Methodist Church.

Hal is survived by his wife, Mary Jeffers; brother, Roger Jeffers; children, Daniel Jeffers, Chris Jeffers and Suzanne Jeffers Blake; grandchildren, Jordan Blake, Reilly Blake, Marilla Jeffers and Reid Jeffers.

— Submitted by the family of Hal Jeffers

Story First Published: 2020-08-21