Thomas Gerald Lee, born January 12, 1947, lived with his family in the Benson area until he married Brenda Thomas in 1967. Family consisted of parents, Evelyn Hudson Lee and Thomas R. Lee; sisters, Kay and Rose; and brother, David.
Gerald worked part-time jobs to support himself and family after the separation of his parents during his high school years. The marriage of Gerald and Brenda was blessed with two children, a daughter, Laura, in 1970, and a son, Anthony, in 1981. Laura married Michael Sherman, and they have a son, Michael Lee Sherman. Anthony married Rhonda Stanley, and they have a son, Brock Currens.
Gerald owned and operated Four Oaks Small Engine Repair for 36 years. He served the community in various positions with the Four Oaks Volunteer Fire Department for 25 years, Blackman’s Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department for 16 years, the Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs for 21 years, and Beulah Hill Christian Church for 40 years.
On April 16, 2011, we realized how quickly life as we know it can change. In a matter of minutes, a lifetime of material things was almost totally destroyed by a tornado. God blessed us, in our weakness. Our strength and faith were increased as we realized God had protected our lives. Hope came as neighbors, friends, and volunteers provided help, supplies, food, and words of encouragement. Recovery started that afternoon and is still taking place. Everything we are given is a gift from God. God gives us things to use to glorify him, and people to show us the way to live.
On Saturday, February 1, 2014, we lost a wonderful example of how to live. Another outpouring of love, prayers, visits, and cards came from family, friends, businesses, and fire departments across the United States. Gerald’s life may have been short compared to others, but the impact of his life on others was so much more than he ever knew.
Everyone that knew Gerald had a Gerald story. I asked them to write their Gerald story in the service bulletin. I have received many and hope to receive more.
I hope God sends each of you a Gerald to show you the way to heaven, for Gerald is now walking with his Lord and Savior. We are left to show and tell others about the gift God has waiting for them.