Gerald Kenneth Woodall was born on August 14, 1931, in Seymour, Texas, to Jesse Ralph and Alene Helen (Poe) Woodall. He had an older brother, Billy Verd Woodall, and a twin sister, Geraldine Woodall Harris. All four preceded him in death.
When Gerald (Jerry) was 17, he joined the Air Force and served in Japan during the Korean war. When he returned stateside in 1952 to visit his mother in Osawatomie, Kansas, he met Reita Sullins. The two were married on September 5, 1954.
Jerry’s early career included short stints with Philips Petroleum and Missouri Pacific Railroad before he joined Smith & Loveless in Lenexa, KS. He worked there in manufacturing and logistics operations for more than 30 years before retiring in 1996. Jerry made life-long friends throughout his time at Smith & Loveless, and continued to meet for breakfast with fellow retirees once a month for many years after his retirement.
Jerry and Reita raised three children: Jeralyn Sue (David) Platt of Shawnee, KS; Bruce Alan (Melissa) Woodall of Ocala, FL; and Jennifer Lynette Woodall of Overland Park, KS. The two also have 5 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, with another due in September.
Jerry had many interests outside of work. He coached his son Bruce’s Little League and Babe Ruth baseball teams, and he was an active lifetime member of the local Elks Lodge in Osawatomie. In 1976, Jerry and Reita began square dancing and shortly thereafter joined the Frontier Twirlers with whom they danced for more than 20 years. For a period of time, they also gave square dancing lessons to local 4-H club members, including their daughter Jenny.
Jerry became a prolific reader after retirement, having read all the Louis L’Amour novels he could find. He loved watching Royals baseball and numerous TV game shows. Jerry and Reita were able to take an Alaskan cruise, visited Germany and Nova Scotia, and made several bus trips to various U.S. destinations after Jerry’s retirement.
Jerry also loved attending his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s sporting events, often traveling with Reita and other family members to out-of-town volleyball and tennis matches; basketball, baseball and football games; and track and cross country meets. Win or lose, the grandkids and great grandkids always knew they would get a warm smile and a gentle hug or pat on the back from Grandpa to let them know how proud he was of them.
Jerry was perhaps happiest though when he found himself in the midst of a family gathering or trip: annual trips to Parsons in early spring to visit Max; 4th of July celebrations at Lake of the Forest; long car drives to see family in Texas and South Carolina; travel to Lackland Air Force Base to proudly stand with grandson Taylor to say the Airmen’s Creed together at Taylor’s graduation from boot camp; gathering at Sue and Dave’s house with extended family to celebrate various holidays or watch a Chiefs Super Bowl victory; and so many other trips and gatherings.
Jerry was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Block, KS.
He leaves his wife of almost 67 years, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews (most of which called him Uncle Kenny) and many friends.
Visitation 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, followed by service 11:00 a.m. all at Trinity Lutheran Church of Paola. Burial at Osawatomie Cemetery. Memorials to the Trinity Lutheran Church send c/o Eddy-Birchard Funeral Home P.O. Box 430 Osawatomie, KS 66064.