Tom Gerald, D.D.S. – November 20, 2011

Tom Gerald, D.D.S., of Amarillo, died Sunday, November 20, 2011.

Services will be at 2:00 p.m., Friday, November 25, 2011 at Polk Street United Methodist Church with Dr. Burt Palmer, Senior Pastor, and Rev. Kevin Deckard, Associate Pastor, officiating.  Private family burial will be in Dreamland Cemetery in Canyon.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Thomas Sumpter Gerald, Jr. was born on November 20, 1913 in Gatesville, TX to Thomas Sumpter Gerald Sr. and Beulah Hartman Gerald. His grandfather was a Confederate veteran. His family moved to Canyon in 1928 where he graduated from Canyon High School and received a B.S. degree from West Texas State College in 1936. Gerald worked for Phillips Petroleum and Noble Drilling Company and attended Oklahoma University as a petroleum engineering major. Realizing a lifelong dream of becoming a dentist, he entered the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston in 1942 and received his D.D.S. in 1945. During his last year of dental school he met and married Helen Shideler, a member of the Houston Symphony. After serving two years in the Navy Dental Corps, he started his general dentistry practice in Amarillo where he practiced for 62 years. He and Helen were the proud parents of five children who were raised in Amarillo.

Dr. Gerald was Past President of Potter-Randall County Dental Society and Panhandle District Dental Society. He was a member of Texas Dental Association and life member of American Dental Association. He was a Fellow of Academy of General Dentistry and an elected member of Pierre Fauchard Academy. In 1966 and 2009 Gerald was elected Dentist of the year by the Panhandle District Dental Society. He was Chairman of the Dental Division of Opportunity Plan and spearheaded the Dental Health program of Panhandle District Dental Society.

Tom Gerald was a long-time member of Polk Street United Methodist Church where he taught Sunday School. He also belonged to Amarillo West Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge 630, Alumni Association of WTAMU, WTAMU Foundation, Amarillo Area Foundation, Amarillo College Foundation, American Cancer Society Board and Gideons International. He was an institutional representative for Boy Scouts of America, coached ball teams for Kids, Inc. and contributed dental work for Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch and for Amarillo school children.

With his family, Gerald enjoyed being out doors farming and raising white-faced cattle on his ranch northwest of Canyon. He was proud of the trees he planted, watered and brought to maturity. He received Randall County’s Conservationist of the Year Award in 1975. He belonged to Palo Duro Soil and Water Conservation District and was Outstanding Member of the Randall County Junior Livestock Association in 1982. With his family he also enjoyed horseback riding, camping, hunting, fishing and boating. While his wife and children played a variety of instruments (piano, organ, violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, oboe, cornet, French horn), Tom was always quick to pull out his harmonica to play a lively tune and tell a corny joke to anyone who would listen. He loved chocolate, beans and corn bread, a good cowboy tune and a drenching West Texas rain.

Tom Gerald was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who loved his Lord, his country and the soil of the earth. He leaves a legacy to his family and his community. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years Helen, son Tom III and daughter Nancy, all of Amarillo; his parents Tom and Beulah, stepmother Ruth and brother Charles, all of Canyon; and brother Dan of Lone Oak, TX.

He is survived by son Robert Gerald and wife Laurel Gerald of Amarillo; grandson Evan Gerald of San Antonio; granddaughter, Ashley Gerald Smith and husband Jason Smith of Dallas; daughter Barbara Gerald Barber and husband James Barber; granddaughter, Lisa; and great-grandson Tyrin of Estes Park, CO; son John Gerald and wife Laura Gerald of Amarillo; daughter-in-law Debra Gerald; grandsons, Tucker Gerald and Braxton Gerald; granddaughter, Kemberly Gerald of Amarillo; granddaughter, Ginger Smith; great-granddaughter, Bailey Smith; great-grandson Tate Smith of Amarillo; granddaughter Callie Gerald Burns and husband Michael Burns; great-grandson Andrew; and great-granddaughter Matney of Dallas; grandson Thomas Gerald IV of Houston; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Gideons International (P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800); American Cancer Society (3915 Bell St., Amarillo, TX 79109); Dr. Thomas and Helen Gerald Scholarship, % WTAMU Foundation, WTAMU Box 60766, Canyon, TX, 79016; Polk Street United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk St., Amarillo, TX, 79101; or a favorite charity.

12 Responses to “Tom Gerald, D.D.S. – November 20, 2011”

  1. Jan Hucks says:

    Remember how kind and gentle your Dad was. I know you will miss him so much. I am thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

  2. Rusty Williamson says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Growing up next door to the family on Parker and from time to time running into family members brings back many memories. A very tough time to loose a family member but I know he is rejoicing in heaven. He was a great man and will be missed by very many.

  3. Joe D.Williams, O.D. says:

    This wonderful man lives on through his family and friends. I pray for divine comfort for you all. Thoughts and prayers always.

  4. Loretta Williams says:

    Our sympathy goes out to your family

  5. Randal and Sunny Posey says:

    To the Family of Tom Gerald, DDS,
    Please accept our deepest condolences about Tom’s death. You will be in our prayers. May God bless your family.
    Sunny and Randal Posey

  6. Pennye says:

    Your family will be in my thoughts.

  7. Cindy says:

    Thoughts and prayers go out to your family. My husband and I had the pleasure of teaching Tom Gerald in range of motion water classes many years ago. He was always such a kind man. I can’t remember a day that he was without a huge smile and some funny jokes to brighten the class. He was a great man and never gave up. He will be missed by many.

    Shane and Cindy Backus

  8. cindy carter barber says:

    My prayers are will ya’ll. Your dad was a dear kind and loving man, for years dad said my last name should have been Gerald because I spent so much time there growing up. He always made you feel welcome, he was truely an awsome man. We will see him again and God blessed everyone’s life with your dad.

  9. Ken & Debbie Risner says:

    May Jesus take you by the hand and help you find relief throughout this time of sadness as you journey through your grief. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

  10. Linda Hand Caufman says:

    Dr. Gerald was a wonderful, happy person and we enjoyed many years of his friendship. He will greatly missed. I remember how he loved a good story and my dad, George Hand, loved to share a story with him! God bless his family and I hope you remember the best of times. My condolences from my family to yours.

  11. Nancy Dewey Thomson says:

    Dear Gerald Family,

    Dr. Gerald was our family dentist and friend since 1955 when our family moved to Amarillo. Our dad passed away in July this year and we receiving a very nice, hand written note from Dr. Gerald. Dad was 95 years old and enjoyed talking about the “old” times with Dr. Gerald. We enjoyed knowing him as a dentist and a gentleman.

    The families of Lester Dewey, Jim Dewey and Nancy Thomson

  12. Sloane Citron says:

    On behalf of the Citron family, we send our thoughts and love. The Gerald family was a very important part of our life in Amarillo and we are grateful of having had the opportunity to be a part of your lives. You are a wonderful family, and we wish you well.

    Josephine McAndrew, Sloane and Judy Citron, Shelley and Alan Salpeter, Dan and Van Citron, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

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