James H. Gerald, 70, died Monday, August 29, 2011 at his home in Jacksonville, Florida. James was born April 20, 1941 in Mullins, S.C. to the late Clyde Gerald and the late Martha Lewis Gerald-Buie. James was married to the late Evelyn Simpson Gerald. They had a love affair that lasted for forty-six years. He always called her “Love.” He enjoyed spending time with family, fishing, visiting Baxley and friends. Mr. Gerald spent a significant portion of his life in uniform having served in the United States Army. SFC “Retired” James H. Gerald fought in the Vietnam War from which he was granted an honorable discharge in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He later reenlisted and retired on May 1, 1981. During Mr. Gerald’s service to his country he received the National Defense Service medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, Vietnam Service medal, Good Conduct medal and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Jacky C. Rooks (Dec. 23, 2007); sisters, Clydie Mae Reaves, Marie Jackson; and brothers, Maceo Gerald, Andrew Buie and James Buie.
Survivors include two daughters, Donna Clement (Leroy) of Ocala, FL and Elaine Banks (Clarence) of Abingdon, MD; four grandchildren, James Hayes (Danita) of Baxley, Kristy Banks of Augusta, Joey Cummings (Steven, Sr.) of Augusta and Joe Hayes, Jr. of Newark, NJ; seven great-grandchildren, Armani, Briana, Jaylen, Ryan, Zion, and twins, Steven, Jr. and Justice and many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends. Including a special friend, caretaker, Catina Bryant.
Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3 at First African Missionary Baptist Church with the Rev. J. M. Blair officiating. Eulogy was given by Minister James B. Hayes. Interment followed in Baxley Cemetery, 900 Friendship Road in Baxley.
Active pallbearers were Ronald Burkett, Jimmy Simpson, Willie Rogers, Malcolm Carr, Darrell Simpson and Johnny Vann, Sr.
Honorary pallbearers were Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Rooks, Mr. and Mrs. Elzie Hayes, Sr. and Mr. and Mrs. Joe B. Hayes, Sr.
Musical selections were rendered by the musicians and the choir and Gwendolyn Ryals. Arrangements were under the direction of Brown Funeral Home.