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.