It is with a great deal of sadness that we announce Gerald Singletary passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on August 12, 2019.
Gerald was born on February 10, 1948 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the third of five children born to Guyet Singletary, a farmer and employee of the Roddenberry Company, and Ollie Singletary (née Sellers), a homemaker. Gerald began to develop his taste for adventure at an early age and became fascinated by flight. His first flying experience was at the end of a tethered remote-controlled model airplane. Gerald later developed his own improvised parachute with a bedsheet and, serving as his own test-pilot, bravely jumped off the roof of his parents’ house. Years later, after he had obtained his pilot’s license, Gerald recalled the life lesson he learned from this mishap during his “first flight” was to not allow initial, minor failures to hinder his long-term goals.
Gerald attended Cairo High School, ran track, and graduated in 1966. Afterward, he enlisted in the U.S. Army on April 24, 1966 and was stationed at his first assignment at Fort Carson, Colorado. In Colorado, he learned to ski, a skill that would prove useful at his next assignment in Frankfurt Germany, where he would travel with the Ski Club or drive in his recently purchased Volkswagen Beetle to the ski slopes in the nearby Alps. Gerald served in Vietnam in 1968 and received the Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. On April 25, 1969, Gerald received an honorable discharge and returned home to Cairo to begin civilian life.
After leaving the Army, Dane Simpson, and his then girlfriend, Brenda, introduced Gerald to a beautiful young nursing student by the name of Wanda Braselton. The two were married in December of 1969 at Rose Hill United Methodist Church in Columbus Georgia. The couple would remain lovingly married for 48 years until her death in November of 2017.
Gerald ultimately settled on a career in banking and, in 1986, he moved his family to Habersham County, Georgia where he accepted a position with a community bank. A man of many talents, Gerald was also an intensely capable builder and would build, live in, and sell three beautiful homes over the next twenty years. Gerald also became an accomplished private pilot and a skilled photographer. Gerald’s skills as a pilot and photographer ultimately led him to found a small business specializing in aerial and residential photography.
No summary of Gerald’s life would be complete without noting how much he loved his family and his Savior. That love was reflected in so many ways, whether in moving to Covington, Georgia to care for Bill and Elaine Fisher (his brother-in-law and sister-in-law) or in caring for Wanda during her final days fighting Leukemia. Gerald was intensely proud of his daughter Wendi, her husband Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Pirkle, and his wonderful grandsons Benjamin and Andrew. Gerald’s love and devotion to his daughter was never surpassed and he relished their time spent together whether at the beach as a little girl, sailing in Tampa Bay, or later in life para-gliding in the Alps during one of his visits with her in Europe.
Gerald’s life was filled with joy and adventure but his life might best be described as a life of service to others. He never hesitated to give of his time, efforts, and resources to anyone, and his kind, sweet, and gentle nature are the characteristics we all will miss the most. We ask that you join us as we remember him at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, 17 August 2019 at Little-Davenport Funeral Home in Gainesville, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, please direct any memorial to the American Heart Association.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gerald W. Singletary, please visit our floral store.