Jerry Don McGhee of Alvarado was a certified natural-born Texan who loved going fast, was generous to a fault with a poet's soul, had a good run and died near Clifton doing what he loved Saturday, April 12, 2014, at age 66. Funeral: 2 p.m. Thursday at Clayton Kay-Vaughan Funeral Home, 200 E. Patton Ave., Alvarado. Interment: Saturday in LeFeria Cemetery, LeFeria. Visitation: 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Memorials: Anyone is welcome to donate in Jerry's honor to Patriot PAWS Service Dogs for Disabled Veterans, patriotpaws.org
. Jerry was born Nov. 17, 1947, from thoroughly Irish stock in Weslaco. He played football and baseball, and graduated from Weslaco High School in 1966. Jerry married briefly out of high school and then later was married 19 years to Cynthia Sue Henderson Graves. Jerry was the proud father of his baby girl, Shadoe Lyn McGhee. Jerry served in the U.S. Marine Corps
from 1967 to 1970 -- a tour and a half -- in Vietnam and received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Combat Action Ribbon and the Rifle Marksman Badge. When Jerry returned from his service, he exclaimed, "God invented the most wonderful thing when I was gone on tour: the miniskirt." Jerry was a gypsy at heart and lived in Weslaco, Spearman, the Ozarks in Arkansas, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, Waskom and Alvarado. Saltwater was an addiction to Jerry and he had to get near saltwater on a regular basis. For one glorious summer, Jerry got a surfboard before it was cool and impressed all the girls with it. Jerry wore his Hawaiian shirts until they were practically in tatters and was an avid saltwater and freshwater fisherman. Jerry worked in metal fabrication all his working life, built an indestructible swing set for his daughter at home, as well as muscle cars and hot rods. He loved to go fast, drag-race and ride his Harley. He played baseball in local work leagues, coached his daughter's youth softball team, could barbecue with the best of them, and that a red raspberry snow cone signaled the beginning of summer. Jerry's green thumb could grow anything in his garden and every phone that he had with a programmable ringer played "Bad to the Bone" as his ring tone. Jerry always had a dog and loved animals (there were stockings hung at Christmas for all the animals, living and deceased). Jerry read the Bible front to back and believed you judge a person by his character. He participated in more charitable rides than you can count, was a member of the VFW
, enjoyed drinking Woodchuck pear cider (which he could never remember the name of the drink, so he called it "the muskrat") and was addicted to gas station french vanilla powdered cappuccino. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Ethel and "Pat" George McGhee; brother, Bobby McGhee; uncles and aunts, Bud and Ruby Kerr, Ella and Ed Maston, Dorothy and Leonard Grey, Ruby and Bud Stickland. Survivors: Daughter, Shadoe McGhee; brother, George McGhee; sister, Cathy Kerr Musgrave; the nephew who was like a son to him, Mathew Kerr; niece, Patricia McGhee; niece, Terri Gale; aunt and uncle, Jean and Clarence Magouirk; a multitude of cousins; and irreplaceable friends.