Jeffrey “Jeff” John Ingalls, 59, North Woodstock, passed away unexpectedly at home from heart failure on Saturday, March 28th with his wife at his side.
Jeff was born at Littleton Hospital to John B. Ingalls and Priscilla (Cawley) Ingalls. He was the first “carrot top” baby they’d seen in a long time. He lived in North Woodstock his entire childhood attending both elementary and high school in Lincoln Woodstock Public Schools. He graduated from Lin-Wood High School in 1978 where he was active on both the soccer and ski teams. Immediately following high school graduation, he joined the Navy at the age of 17.
Throughout his military career, he was continually promoted until he reached his ultimate goal Master Chief (E-9). In between deployments he earned his associates degree in business, which helped him start his own business years later. The awards he received during his years of service are: Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medals (2), Navy Achievement Medals (2); Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendations (3), Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal Kuwait, Kuwait Liberation Medal Saudi Arabia, Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, Artic Service Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Medals (2), M16 Rifle Expert Medal, .45 Caliber Pistol Expert. Upon the recognition of the Global War on Terrorism, Jeff was awarded the Prisoner of War Medal. Throughout his vast accomplishments in military education, the title of Master Diver was his most coveted. During his 20 years of military service, Jeff had numerous deployments around the world, but the most notable was in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
In 1985, while on military tour in Athens, Greece Jeff & his team were hijacked along with many other innocent passengers of TWA flight 847. All passengers were released with the exception of 39 men who were held captive for 17 days by Iran’s terrorist group, Hezbollah. Thanks to the many prayers throughout his hometown, his navy town, and the entire country the men were set free, which was the first time Hezbollah had ever set captives free. Jeff was never quite able to overcome the loss of his youngest team member, Robert Stethem, and pledged to help other veteran’s deal with similar grief.
On October 4, 1986 Jeff married Nancy (Moyer) Ingalls on a farm in Louisa, VA., which was Jeff & Nancy’s favorite place to go to get away from city life. During the next several years of service in VA, Jeff & Nancy had their first son, Keagen. A few years later he was stationed in Panama City Beach, FL where their second son, Brenden, was born. Years later Jeff & his family came back to the mountains to stay and his entire family felt “at home” in the mountains. Jeff often said that his two sons may have been born at the beach, but they have mountains in their blood. He was a dedicated and loving husband, father, son, and friend. He loved to hike, fish, ski, and rabbit hunt. He also treasured his time at Loon Mountain Ministry Church where he felt encouraged to lead the life that God intended him to live.
In 1998, after 20 years of military service, Jeff retired from the Navy. He transferred to the civilian side where he had a few more adventures: co-owned a marine construction co; project manager for Caldwell Marine International; head of snowmaking & grooming at Loon Mountain Ski Resort (transitioned to part-time groomer); sub-contractor with Hobo Railroad, and self employed- NMI & Sons, a low impact excavation co. Wherever Jeff worked, he worked hard until the job was done right.
Jeff is survived by his wife of 33 years, Nancy (Moyer) Ingalls, his sons Keagen Ingalls, Crested Butte, CO and Brenden Ingalls, Easton, NH. He is also survived by his mother, Priscilla (Cawley) Ingalls, N. Woodstock and his brother Greg Ingalls, Hawaii. Jeff was also blessed with many aunts & uncles, cousins, in-laws, along with many nieces & nephews. Jeff also leaves behind his US Navy Seabee Diver brothers. Lastly, anyone who knew Jeff knew the love he had for his best beagle friend, Tucker.
Jeff was preceded in death by his father, John B. Ingalls as well as his grandparents Merlin & Dorothy Magoon and George & Doris Cawley.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jeff’s military non-profit association-Vet’s Rest Stop (VRS); PO Box 204; N. Woodstock, NH 03262. It was Jeff’s dream to assist other veterans of the US Armed Forces who are in need of counseling and mentoring. He and his dedicated board of director’s overall plan were to help other NH veterans find fellow veterans to talk to and to lend a hand in any way needed.
Thank you to Jeff’s church family for their prayers, love and kindness. Thank you to Lin-Wood School, Lincoln & Woodstock communities, friends, and family from near and far along with Jeff’s US Navy Seabee Diver brothers. We greatly appreciate your prayers, cards, food, gifts, and love. During this unusual time in the world and with our deep loss, its comforting to know we have family & friends who care so much.
Services will be announced when restrictions on public gatherings have been lifted.
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