Dr. Gerald W. Waldrop

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  • "An educator, public servant, Kiwanian, adventurer, and..."
    - Taylor Means
  • "Leigh, I did not know your father personally, but I realize..."
  • "The man with a constant smile and never ending energy. I..."
    - Glen Williams
  • "I am so sorry for your loss. Take comfort in knowing that..."
  • "My deepest condolences to the Waldrop family for the loss..."
    - Robert Clayton
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Dr. Gerald W. Waldrop died Tuesday, October 4, 2016, of heart failure due to histoplasmosis pneumonia. He was 74 years old, born September 7, 1942. Waldrop was a native of Gadsden, moving to Helena after retirement. Dr. Waldrop will be laid to rest Saturday at Evergreen Cemetery in Tuscaloosa, directly across the street from the home stadium of his beloved Crimson Tide. The Reverend Molly Clark will officiate the graveside service at 11:30 a.m. Jerry Wayne Jackson III and Meagan Gamble will provide music. Callie Virginia Jackson and Charles Henry Jackson will be readers. A service to celebrate Gerald's life will be held Sunday, October 9, 2016, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Attalla. The Reverend Lyle Holland will officiate. Dottie Wright Garner, of Orange Beach, George W. Terrell Jr., of Gadsden and Dr. Charles Gamble, of Tuscaloosa, will offer eulogies. Glen Williams, Grady R. Norton and Walter Jones will provide music. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Callie Edgar Waldrop; his daughters, Leigh, Helena and Natasha, of Jacksonville, and their husbands, Kent Phillips and Wayne Jackson. Precious to him were his grandchildren, Hilary Phillips Hill (Stephen), of Nashville, Tenn., John Britton Phillips, U.S. Navy, Portsmouth, Va., and Callie Virginia Jackson, Jerry Wayne Jackson III and Charles Henry Jackson, all of Jacksonville. Survivors include his sister, Gail Gamble and husband, Charles, of Tuscaloosa; nephew, David Gamble, of Hoover; niece, Marnie Gamble Utz (Todd and Ruby), of Homewood; mother-in-law, Thelma Edgar, of Glencoe; brothers-in-law, Travis Edgar (Kay), of Foley, John Edgar (Sue), of Perdido Key, Fla. and James Edgar (Gala), of Glencoe; chosen daughter, Kama Heaps (John, Elizabeth and John Lewis), of Athens; chosen son, Borja Coronado, of Alicante, Spain; special cousins, Robert Adams, of Southside and Delane and Jenny Hulsey, of St. Augustine, Fla. and a host of nieces and nephews. Dr. Waldrop was preceded in death by his parents, Lowell C. and Willie Lee Shirley Waldrop; brother, Lowell C. Waldrop Jr.; father-in-law, Cecil W. Edgar; special aunts, Myrtle Mae Shirley and Ann Roberts; special uncle, Lewis Shirley and very special cousins, Paul and Jewel Harris. Dr. Waldrop was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, where Callie and he met 52 years ago as students. Prior to moving his membership, Gerald was a long time member of First United Methodist Church of Attalla. After graduating from Emma Sansom High School in 1960, Waldrop went on to earn his BA degree from Jacksonville State University, where he was President of the Student Government Association. His graduate degrees were from the University of Alabama. He also attended the Universities of Mississippi and Minnesota. Troy University awarded him an LLD in 1985 for his contributions to the furtherance of public education in Alabama. Waldrop started his teaching career at Jefferson State Community College and retired from Gadsden State Community College in 1996. He was a professor of History and Political Science for 30 years. During those years, he taught adjunct for Jacksonville State and the University of Alabama in Gadsden. Gerald served as the President of the Alabama Education Association, 1984-85. He was a proud member of the National Education Association, Alabama Education Association and the Shelby County Education Retirees Association. Waldrop was elected to the last At-Large class of the Alabama House of Representative (1970-74) representing Etowah County, District 11, Place 1. In 1974, he was elected to the first Single Member District class of the State Senate, District 10, representing Cherokee and Etowah Counties. Waldrop was one of the youngest to serve in either legislative chamber. Gerald Waldrop was the 2001 charter president of the Kiwanis Club of Helena. He spearheaded the building of the Kiwanis "All Kids" Boundless Playground, serving children of all abilities. He served as Governor of the Alabama District of Kiwanis from 2006 - 2007. Waldrop was a member of Friendship Force of Birmingham for over 20 years and traveled to many countries as an ambassador, making numerous international friends along the way. He was a member of American Legion, Post 44, Gulf Shores. He served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve during the Vietnam Era. Pallbearers will be Wayne Jackson, Kent Phillips, John Britton Phillips, David Gamble, Scott Miller, George W. Terrell, Stephen Hill, Todd Utz, Jerry Wayne Jackson III, Charles Henry Jackson and Jonathan and Andrew Gamble. Special pallbearers are members of the Professional Development Club of Gadsden State Community College. Honorary pallbearers are Larry and Cherlyn Stowe, Bill and Charlotte Crosson, members of the Helena Kiwanis Club, members of the Alabama District of Kiwanis International and Friendship Force of Birmingham. Memorials may be made to the Jacksonville State University Foundation. In the memo, write "Memorial Gerald Waldrop." Mail to JSU Foundation, 700 Pelham Road, Jacksonville, AL, 36265. Southern Heritage Funeral Home, 475 Cahaba Valley Road, Pelham, Ala., 35124
Published in The Anniston Star on Oct. 7, 2016
Arrangements under the direction of:
Southern Heritage Funeral Home
475 Cahaba Valley Road | Pelham, AL 35124 | (205) 988-3511
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