Winter in Unalaska by Sam Zmolek
Your voice in the Aleutians.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

In Memoriam: Jeffrey Paul DeRonde

Jeff DeRonde in Unalaska in 2020, during his time as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment, Dutch Harbor.
Sarah Spelsberg
Jeff DeRonde in Unalaska in 2020, during his time as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment, Dutch Harbor.

Juneau, Alaska resident, Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Paul DeRonde, 34, passed away in a rafting accident on Eagle River near Juneau on Sept. 5, 2021.

A military memorial service was held by the Juneau Coast Guard Command at Eaglecrest Ski Lodge in Juneau last Friday.

Jeffrey was born Feb. 12, 1987 in Des Moines, Iowa, to Sandra Hampton and Larry DeRonde. He graduated from Chariton High School in Chariton, Iowa in 2005 with honors and immediately enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. In a continuous quest for adventure, he chose assignments in Kodiak, Alaska; Long Beach, California; Afghanistan; Portland, Oregon; Dutch Harbor, Alaska; and Juneau, Alaska.

Jeff was an active-duty officer in the Coast Guard at the time of his death having served for 16 years. Not only did Jeff have a love for the Coast Guard, he was well-respected and looked up to by his fellow guardsmen acting as a mentor and leader.

Jeff met his love and wife, Rachael, in Portland, Oregon. Inseparable and happy, it was from there that they explored the mountains and beautiful outdoors of the Pacific Northwest together. Jeff was a proud and accomplished member of the Mazamas during his time in Oregon. He was an avid outdoorsman, and it was that passion that drew him to living in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, where he immersed himself and served his new community. A year later, he and Rachael moved to Juneau, Alaska, continuing to build a life together.

Not only was Jeff a devoted husband, he was a competitive and caring brother and uncle. His four nieces were drawn to his easy-going personality and his ever-lasting kid spirit that was always about him.

From a young age, Jeff had a love of the outdoors through hunting, hiking, and fishing with family and friends. His impact on the people he met throughout his life was always immediate and lasting. His casual confidence, easy laugh, and immutable optimism drew people to him. Jeff was a person who lived life to the fullest and never turned down an adventure.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Rachael Power, of Juneau, Alaska; his mother, Sandra (John) Hampton of Camdenton, MO; his father, Larry (Meg Prange) DeRonde of Russell, IA; his brother, Ryan (Emily) DeRonde and nieces: Maci, Mackenzie, Rylie and Addison; and half-brother, Christopher Abbott.

Jeff was preceded in death by his grandfather, Elmer Vander Linden; his grandmother, Pauline Vander Linden Olivier; his grandfather, Corneilius DeRonde; his grandmother, Wilma DeRonde; and his uncle, Michael Harvey.

The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to the United States Coast Guard, Capital City Fire & Rescue and Juneau Mountain Rescue for their recovery operations. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Capital City Fire & Rescue and Juneau Mountain Rescue.