Valley Hills Funeral Home
Jeffery Gerard Kokenge, AKA “Snowman,” passed away in his Yakima, WA home on February 22, 2017. He was 52.
Jeff was born at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Yakima, WA on December 28, 1964 to Vicki Furtner and the late Harry Kokenge. His childhood was filled with wonderful friends and family, with most of his time spent playing baseball, basketball, and exploring the outdoors. He excelled in baseball playing 3rd base on the West Valley HS Varsity Team and the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak summer league team for three years, from 1980 to 1983. He achieved several hitting and fielding awards during those years. After graduating from West Valley HS in 1983, Jeff took time off from school. In 1987 he attended Yakima Valley Community College, and subsequently transferred to Central Washington University, graduating in 1990 with a Business Communications/Public Relations degree. He applied his degree in the Electrical Distribution Industry as a Sales Representative for nearly 30 years and became a seasoned and well-respected salesperson in the Yakima Valley, forging many special relationships with colleagues and customers along the way.
Throughout his life, Jeff often visited local creeks, rivers, lakes, ridges and mountains pursuing his love of fishing and bird hunting. Jeff shared a special bond with his brother, cousins, grandfather and friends who accompanied him on many of these outdoor adventures. Jeff was also an accomplished practical joker and often impersonated, with precision, the voices of friends and family, to the amusement of many.
Jeff is survived by his mother Vicki Furtner and stepfather Henry Furtner, of Selah, WA; brother Troy Kokenge, his wife Kari and their children Jaden and Brooks, all of North Bend, WA; stepsisters Sandra Burgman and Diana Rukat of San Antonio, TX; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in Yakima and beyond. He was preceded in death by his father, Harry Kokenge; grandparents Frank and Marjorie Wingerter and William and Edith Kokenge.
A memorial service will be held at Valley Hills Funeral Home, 2600 Business Lane, Yakima, WA 98901 on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 11 AM. A Celebration of Life and reception will immediately follow the memorial service at Terrace Heights Grange #586, 3701 West Birchfield Road, Yakima, WA 98901.
In remembrance of Jeff’s love for animals, especially dogs, please consider donating to an animal charity of your choice.
Arrangements by Valley Hills Funeral Home.