|Sherry and Jerry|
Jerry Schrimsher was one of the first skydiving instructor/examiners in the sport. He made his first skydive in 1959 and logged more than 3500 skydives. He traveled all over the world with his wife, Sherry, judging skydiving events. His special gift was mentoring students new to skydiving. Jerry held a pilots license for just about every type of flying object known to man. He held single and multi-engine aircraft , CFI (Certified Flight Instructor), glider pilot license and instructor, Hot Air Balloon pilot, Helicopter pilot, Sea-plane and CFI commercial instructor.
"Jerry believed that through training and knowledge of the equipment it would make students safer for everyone in the sky," said his wife Sherry. "Mentoring and coaching became Jerry's goal because students felt like they didn't have anyone to work with them after they completed the AFF (Accelerated Freefall) course." The students now refer to themselves as being one of Jerry's kids.
Jerry passed away on October 14, 2000 at the age of 65, after completing a beautiful skydive with some of "Jerry's kids". With over 40 years in the sport, his expertise and knowledge will continue to be passed along to the new jumpers through the Jerry Schrimsher Scholarship Fund.
The Jerry Schrimsher Scholarship Fund was established after Jerry’s death to continue his efforts in keeping upcoming jumpers in the sport. Jerry believed that coaching programs provide the bridge between student status and becoming an experienced skydiver. He also knew that we needed more skydivers to get involved in coaching. This fund perpetuates the continued training of skydivers, something that Jerry deeply believed in.
The 2001 Jerry Schrimsher Memorial Boogie (SkyFest 2001) held at Skydive Dallas, proved to be a success with money raised to support the Jerry Schrimsher Skydiving Scholarship Foundation (JSSSF). Money was raised through the registration, sponsorship, donations, raffle tickets and the support of Skydive Dallas, the staff and volunteers.
If there was one thing Jerry believed in, it was learning. He told everyone in the sport who would listen to get an instructor rating, if for nothing else, just to acquire the knowledge. Jerry felt that the more a person knew about the sport, the equipment, and the characteristics of flight, the safer everyone would be. He also believed that passing on knowledge and information would help ensure growth in the sport.
The foundation’s mission is to continue Jerry’s efforts in keeping upcoming jumpers in the sport. The Jerry Schrimsher Skydiving Scholarship Fund has sent $200.00 for each of the two recipients ($400 to each of the 5 drop zones) to be used to pay for two coaching jumps with a videographer.
Thanks again to the countless individuals, sponsors, drop zones and volunteers who supported the event.
The scholarship is available to both experienced jumpers who want to get a coach rating and to the new skydiver needing to enhance his/her skills. Money for the scholarship foundation is raised primarily through the raffle ticket sales, registration and donations at the annual SkyFest event.
For inquiries regarding how your home drop zone can become a sponsor for SkyFest, visit DZ Sponsor Requirements or contact
Thanks again to the countless individuals, sponsors, drop zones and volunteers who supported the foundation and the SkyFest events.
USPA's Highest Honor
Published in Parachutist October 2003
Jerry James and Sherry Schrimsher have received 2002's USPA Achievement Award, USPA's most prestigious honor.
Jerry was elected USPA Southwest Conference Director from 1973 through 1978. He served again for the '83-'84 term. Sherry was named national director in 1983. Following that term as USPA secretary, she became the first woman president in USPA's history. She served for three terms.
Jerry was an FAA rigger and a pilot with multiple ratings. He became one of the first USPA Instructor Examiners, and he taught annual Instructor Certification Courses for almost 40 years. When the FAA established its safety counselor program in 1976, Jerry was named for the Dallas area and served for 25 years.
As an FAI judge, Sherry has traveled the world to serve the competition community, certifying many world records, judging competitions and organizing judge's training programs. She served as alternate delegate to the IPC from '91 to '97 and chaired the IPC Judging Committee.
Sherry and Jerry supported each other's work for skydiving until Jerry's death from natural causes in October 2000. Sherry is still very active in judging and judge's training.
To continue Jerry's efforts to keep newer jumpers in the sport, his family and friends have created a unique scholarship and host the Skydiving Scholarship SkyFest Boogie each year in his honor and to raise money for the fund.
The official presentation of the USPA Achievement Award to Jerry and Sherry Schrimsher took place August 16 at Skydive Dallas. USPA directors B.J. Worth, Lee Schlichtemeier, Don Ellisor and Madolyn Murdock assisted USPA vice president Mike Perry in honoring the duo who have contributed so much of their energy and experience to USPA and the sport of skydiving.