Talbert R. Gerald
Talbert R. Gerald (age 82) of Athens, Georgia passed away on March 6, 2018 after a brief illness surrounded by his precious family. Talbert was born in Loris, South Carolina on November 2, 1935. He was the son of the late Audie O’Neal and Ora Harris Gerald. Talbert graduated from Loris High School in 1953 and was elected President of his senior class, a position that lasted 64 years. He became a school bus driver at the age of 16.
He went onto Clemson University where he earned a BS degree in Agronomy and Soils and graduated on June 2, 1957. On the same date, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army, Artillery Branch. He had a ten-year military career active duty and reserve. Talbert attained the rank of Captain and was the commander of an Artillery Battery. He received an honorable discharge.
Talbert’s first job out of Clemson was Assistant County Agent of Florence County, South Carolina. After two years he accepted a position of Soil Scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. He went on to have a 44-year career in Soil Science. He served in several locations in South Carolina as a field Soil Scientist and Soil Survey Party Leader. In 1968 he attended the “Soil Science Institution” at Iowa State University and in 1971 he attended the “Advanced Training in Soil Science” at the University of Tennessee. In 1972 he was promoted to Assistant State Soil Scientist and move to the state office in Columbia, SC. A promotion in 1976 carried him to Fort Worth, Texas, to the South National Center as Assistant Principal Soil Correlated. His work carred him to all the southeastern states and Puerto Rico. He also attended conferences and training sessions through the US. In 1981 Talbert moved to Athens, Georgia as State Soil Scientist, a position he retired from in 1996. He then established a Soils Consulting business for eight years, retiring for a second time in 2004. He was a member of the American Legion, the Fraternity of Alpha Zeta, and Green Acres Baptist Church where he served as a deacon for many years. Talbert and his wife Beth served as youth leaders and he served on many committees at the church.
While working in Florence, SC he met “the love of his life”, Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Tarte. Eight months later they were married on April 16, 1961. Talbert called her his angel the day they met and he continued to call her “his angel” until his last breath. God blessed them with 57 years together and a great family. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and sons in law. Marianne Elizabeth and Matt Boggs of Colbert, GA, Dena Elizabeth and Mark Hodge of Canton, GA and Susan Elizabeth and Kendall Cook of Monroe, GA, five granddaughters Kaitlin Elizabeth Boggs Berryman, Cortney Elizabeth Boggs Maffett, Delaney Elizabeth Cook, Nealie Elizabeth Cook, Taylor Elizabeth Hodge, one grandson Mark Alan “MJ” Hodge Jr., three great granddaughters Scarlett Elizabeth Berryman, Saydie Elizabeth Berryman, Sawyer Elizabeth Berryman and one brother Elwood L. Gerald and his wife Chris of Columbia, SC, Burnice Gerald and wife Barbara Wayne of Tabor City, NC, a beloved friend Norman McGlohon and wife Bobbie, Athens, GA. Talbert and Norman were classmates at Clemson University.
Funeral services will be held on March 10 at 2 pm at Green Acres Baptist Church at entombment with military honors will follow at Evergreen Memorial Park Mausoleum officiated by Mark Palmer and Dr Stewart Sims Jr.. Visitation will be held on March 9 from 6 to 8 pm at Lord and Stephens Funeral Home Eastside. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made of Green Acres Baptist Church flower fund 2085 Barnett Shoals Road, Athens, GA 30605 or to the American Cancer Society in his memory.
The family expresses their sincere appreciation to Kindred Hospice for their loving and kind compassion for Talbert and to all of us. A special “thank you” to Nikki Osborne, RN of St. Mary’s Home Health Care – your sweet spirit and genuine compassion for Talbert were so appreciated.
Gentlemen’s coffee club of Chick-Fil-A
Senior Men’s Sunday School Class of Green Acres Baptist Church