---- — SPRINGFIELD — Gerald “Jerry” Thomas, a longtime resident of Springfield, departed this life at 8:11 a.m. Aug. 14, 2013, at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center in Normal.
Jerry was born Feb. 17, 1942, to Robert and Clara (Maddox) Thomas in Danville.
He attended Danville public schools and served in the United States Navy.
He is survived by a son, Kevin (Lois) Bryant, and grandchildren, Devin and Maya Bryant, all of Kendall Park, N.J.; brother, John (Maria) Thomas; and sister, Carol (Dallas) Lyle of Bloomington; and nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, who will miss and fondly remember him.
Jerry was preceded in death by his mother and father; infant sister, Bonnie Thomas; sister, Phyllis Blalock; and brother, Leonard Thomas.
He had accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. Gerald attended the Washburne Trade School where he received certification as a general machine operator. Jerry received an associate’s degree in applied science from Danville Area Community College and a bachelor’s in legal studies from Sangamon State University, Springfield.
Jerry completed his paralegal internship with the General Law Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. He was employed by the Illinois Department of Transportation for more than 17 years. At the time of his retirement in 2002, he was working in IDOT’s Bureau of Claims.
Until his health declined, Jerry was an avid fisherman. His hobbies included playing pinochle, collecting birds of prey and travel. He was the owner of Bubba’s Bar B Q and his booth was known for lip-smackin’ ribs at numerous venues and vendor fairs around the state. He loved blues and enjoyed traveling with buddies to jazz and blues festivals.
Special thanks to Marilyn White, his caregiver for more than five years, and the medical staff at Memorial Medical Center.
Cremation rites will be accorded per the family’s wishes. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home in Bloomington with the Rev. Frank L. McSwain Sr. officiating.
Inurnment will follow the services at East Lawn Memorial Gardens in Bloomington.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Diabetes Association or to an organization of the donor’s choice in Jerry’s name. The family has entrusted Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home with the care of their loved one.
Online condolences and memories may be sent to the family at kiblerbradyruestman.com.