Submitted by his family
Gerald Williams was truly loved by his family‚ Dana coworkers‚ fellow firefighters‚ and friends. Everyone knew him as ‘Chief’ which he was named by his coworkers due to his Cherokee Indian descent he is greatly missed by all who knew him. He died on September 30‚2003‚ due to cardiac complications while manning the fire station.
Gerald was truly devoted to his family. He was married to the former Doris Hartline in 1976 who survives. He is also survived by a stepson Scott Harris and wife Danna and a stepdaughter Julie Rupard and husband Terry. He is survived by his step grandsons Christopher and Casey Harris and Matthew and Andrew Rupard. His surviving step granddaughters are Jennifer and Ashley Rupard. His wife would call him ‘Bear’ because he gave such big bear hugs. He never missed an opportunity to see his grandchildren play soccer even if it meant going out of state. He would say ‘yes’ to going out of town for a game at a drop of a hat. His step grandchildren loved rubbing his bald head. Before leaving his family’s home he would flick them on their head followed by a whistle sound.
Gerald joined the Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department in 1991 at the rank of a Firefighter . In 2002 he was moved to the Traffic/Support Division due to his health reasons. He also faithfully pulled his duty to stay at the fire department one night per month. He commented to his fellow firefighters one day‚ ‘ I’m going to leave the firefighting to them young boys.’ his friends at the fire station stated they thought of him as their father. They even gave him some shirts with his name ‘Chief’ stitched on them. His fellow firefighters served as honor guards as well as pallbearers at the funeral.
Gerald was also employed by Dana Corporation where he worked for 25 years. If anyone spoke the name ‘Chief’ who worked at Dana‚ they truly knew Gerald and how special he was. A Dana fellow coworker wrote a poem in memory of Gerald which stated how much he touched the souls of the people he met. Dana coworkers served as honorary pallbearers at the funeral.
Gerald also loved his lord and country. He attended Union Chapel Baptist church which he talked of often of how the people showed their love toward him. He loved his country and was always patriotic by wearing stars and striped shirts. He would always make an attempt to attend the July 4th gospel singing with his family.
Gerald‚ thank you for loving us so and for serving your fellow man. Thanks for being a friend. We miss your smile!!!! We love you!!!