A funeral service for Jerry Don Gillem, age 81, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, 2022, at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Ed Lantz and Rev. Jason Dietze officiating. Interment will follow at Tira Cemetery with Tommy Blunt, Larry Blunt, Bruce Lockhart, Bryan Lockhart, Brock Lockhart, Sam Hentchel, Ethan Boatman, Randy Rushin, and Jeffrey Kesting serving as pallbearers. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Jerry Don passed away on April 11, age 81, at his home with his wife, Judy, by his side.
Jerry Don was born on January 6, 1941, in Black Oak, Texas, to EC and Christine (Bullock) Gillem. After a childhood spent on the farm, he left for west Texas to attend Texas Tech University, although he ultimately graduated from East Texas State University. It was during his time at East Texas State that he met and fell in love with Judy Kay Chapman. They married in 1966 and remained devoted to one another for the next 56 years.
Their marriage produced two children, Stephen and Kathryn, born while Jerry Don was working in Greenville, Texas, at ESystems, which became Raytheon. But his thoughts turned toward home and he and Judy relocated their young family back to Sulphur Springs. He first worked as finance director for the city of Sulphur Springs and then eventually at Grocery Supply Company, where he rose to become president of the Sulphur Springs division. After a distinguished career Jerry Don retired in 2000 to spend time with his four grandsons.
But Jerry Don, always a hard worker and a lover of projects, soon found a new home at the Hopkins County Historical Society and Heritage Park, where he devoted his time and energy for the next 20 years. He also enjoyed being a member of First United Methodist Church.
He will be remembered by those who love him as a kind man with a huge heart, who worked hard and played hard, loved a good joke and loved a good pecan pie even more. He will be forever missed.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Judy; son, Stephen Frank Gillem and wife, Kimberlea; daughter, Sara Kathryn and husband, Clifton Carpenter Haggard; grandchildren, Mason Keith Gillem, Seth Chapman Gillem, Clifton Gillem Haggard and Frank Carpenter Haggard; sisters, Jeannie Lockhart and husband, Bill, and Linda Blunt and husband, Luke; and numerous nieces and nephews.
If desired, memorials may be made to Scottish Rite for Children’s Hospital at 2222 Welborn St, Dallas, TX 75219.
Arrangements under the direction of Murray-Orwosky Funeral Home.
The online register can be signed at www.murrayorwosky.com