Jerry Lee Stilley, 62, son of Raymond and Eleanor (Gourley) Stilley, was born Sept. 29, 1946, in Bado, Mo. He passed away June 24, 2009, at Cox South Hospital, Springfield, Mo.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Linda.
He is survived by his loving wife, Vivian of Houston; two daughters, Kristie Vincent of Willard, Mo., and Florice Pearce of Bado, Mo.; two beloved son-in-laws, Bryan Vincent and Jack Pearce; two adored grandchildren, Jon and Kate Vincent; two brothers, Leroy and Lowell of Bucyrus, Mo.; five sisters, Janet Stilley of Springfield, Mo., Kay Dillon of Houston, Ermal Wondergem of Greenville, Mich., Brenda Kinserlow of Houston, and Debbie Stilley of Bucyrus, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews.
Jerry grew up in the White Rock Community west of Houston. He attended the White Rock School from first-eighth grade, then graduated from Houston High School in 1964. He received a refrigeration certification from Graff Votech School, then voluntarily joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War in January 1965 and was medically retired from service in March 1966.
He married the love of his life, Vivian Elaine Smith, on Aug. 16, 1975, and they made their life living and working in the Houston Community. Side by side and hand in hand, they loved working in the garden together, watching sunsets and taking evening drives to look for deer.
Jerry loved all of his family and friends and cherished every moment he spent with them. He loved his time spent in the donut shop, drinking coffee and “solving” the world’s problems with his multitude of friends. He never once met a stranger. He thought of everyone as a friend, and everyone who knew him loved him back to the same degree. He never missed an opportunity to show his kindness or to go out of the way to make sure those around him felt special.
He will be so dearly missed, but the love he gave while here was so great that it shall never fade. May he garden in heaven with beautiful sunrises and sunsets without pain, without suffering and forever smiling, laughing and loving in the way we know he will.
Services were 10 a.m. Monday, June 29, at the Evans Funeral Home Chapel with Don Crockett officiating. Burial was in White Rock Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation. Online condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com.