ROBERT LEE Gerald E. Gartrell passed away on Feb. 22, 2013, in Robert Lee Care Center in Robert Lee, Texas after a long and courageous battle with dementia. A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, at Robert Lee Baptist Church officiated by John Davis and Chuck King. Arrangements are by Shaffer Funeral Home. Gerry was born Sunday, March 31, 1946, in Oklahoma City, Okla., to Clyde Thomas and Dessie Gartrell. Gerry always claimed to be a Texan, as he moved to Texas as a one-year-old. He said he couldn't get to Texas fast enough! He graduated from Tuloso-Midway High School, Corpus Christi, Texas in 1964. Upon graduation he attended Jacksonvillie Junior College. On June 6, 1966, Gerry voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army as an Officer-2nd Lt. Gerry was honorably discharged as a 1st Lt. on May 26, 1969. He then proudly attended and graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 1971, and his Master's Degree in Education from Sul Ross University, Alpine, Texas in 1990. Upon graduation from UT his first Teacher/Coach position was in Refugio, Texas. He also coached in Rockwall and Kaufman, Texas. As coaches do, he had several job changes but found his love in west Texas and Six-Man football. He proudly coached in Guthrie, Lazbuddie, Whitharral and Fort Davis, Texas. His dream of taking his football team to the playoffs in the State Championship was fulfilled with two teams - Whitharral Panthers in 1996 and Fort Davis Indians in 2003. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother-in-law, Tom Rushing; many aunts and uncles; and his daughter, Teresa Lynn Gartrell. Gerry is survived by his wife of 46 years, Judy Rushing Gartrell; sons Chris Gartrell and Greg Gartrell; brothers Tom Gartrell and wife Linda of Kemp, Texas and Ronald Gartrell and wife Rebecca of Payne Springs, Texas; sister Lou Ann Beverly and husband Mike of Boling Green, Ky.; brother and sister-in-law Bob Rushing and wife Donna of Beeville, Texas, Patsy Rushing of Vacaville, Calif.; granddaughters Larissa Gartrell of San Antonio and Baleigh Christine Gartrell of Midland; grandsons Jacob Gartrell and Justin Gartrell of San Antonio; nieces and nephews Rhonda Gartrell Crowell, Mark Gartrell, Steven Beverly, David Beverly, Patrick Beverly, Glen Rushing and Ronda Evans. He is survived by many beloved friends, players and coaches, along with his babies ? Gabby, Angel, Buster, Tinker and Gus. A special thank you to all the nurses and support staff from the Robert Lee Care Center ? you are all angels! "Those we have held in our arms for a while - We hold in our hearts forever"
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Published in GoSanAngelo from Feb. 25 to Feb. 26, 2013