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Gerald (Jerry) Wayne Douglas, 65

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Gerald (Jerry) Wayne Douglas

Gerald (Jerry) Wayne Douglas, 65, of Choudrant, Louisiana, flew home to Heaven on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at home surrounded by his family and close friends.

Jerry was born Aug. 28, 1954, in New Orleans to Margie Opal Douglas and David Forbes Douglas. He is preceded in death by his parents. Jerry is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lucy, his daughter Emery Beckham and her husband Josh, and his adored granddaughter Rory Ann Beckham, and his son, William Douglas all of Ruston. He is also survived by his brothers George Douglas and his wife Carolyn and David Douglas, Jr.of Houston, his nephews Adam (Lori) Douglas, Aaron Douglas, and his niece Heather (Will) Norbury all of Houston, and numerous cousins.

Jerry had many unique life experiences growing up. From the age of 11-17 his family lived abroad in Ghana, Africa and Dusseldorf, Germany due to his father’s role as a mechanical engineer with Kaiser Aluminum. Jerry returned to New Orleans in 1971 to complete his senior year of high school. He attended Louisiana Tech University and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation. Prior to his graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a weapons mechanic at Moody AFB, Georgia. He later concluded his career serving in the Air Force Reserve at Barksdale Air Force Base. Jerry began his 40-year aviation career flying for Royale Airlines, a regional commuter based in Shreveport, LA, the Western Company of North America in Houston, TX, and in 1983 he returned to Louisiana Tech to become the “Tech Pilot” and was

privileged to fly for the administrations of Dr. F. J. Taylor and Dr. Daniel Reneau. When the university transitioned away from airplane ownership, Jerry moved into a full-time role as faculty in the Department of Professional Aviation. Jerry was not just a typical classroom instructor; he took his role as mentor quite seriously and was passionate about developing his students into not only successful pilots, but well-rounded people of character and integrity. Jerry strived for perfection in everything he did and he was often heard telling students, “flying is the easy part.” He intentionally promoted the growth and development of his students via his role as faculty advisor to the Louisiana Tech Flight Team and the aviation fraternity, to mention just a few activities he was involved with. Many of the students Jerry mentored went on to become lifelong friends.

Throughout his years at Louisiana Tech, Jerry also continued to fly for numerous private companies such as T.L. James & Company, Davison Transport, Hogan Hardwoods, and most recently Hunt Forest Products. Whenever possible, Jerry would take a student along on a flight to allow them an opportunity to gain experience in more complex, turbine aircraft. He always maintained his status as a Multi-Engine Certified Flight Instructor for the benefit of the students, so that they could log the time as Second-In-Command. This was so valuable to every student and helped them to increase total time hours in order to meet airline hiring requirements.

Jerry retired from Louisiana Tech in 2008 to fly full time for Hunt Forest Products. Corporate aviation was Jerry’s intentional career choice. This career allowed him to utilize all his gifts and talents, providing very personal, high-quality care to his employers; all while maintaining a family-centered lifestyle, and his ability to be present as a husband and a father, which was his priority. In addition to his career responsibilities, Jerry always made it a priority to give of his time and talent to our community. He was a member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol, a Lincoln Parish volunteer firefighter, and he served as a Reserve Deputy for the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department since 2009. Jerry also served in various capacities to include children’s ministry, bus ministry, and sound technician, at LifeChuch, LA where he was a member for 28 years. He had many hobbies through the years that included scuba diving, surfing, and hunting to name a few, but he remained an avid motorcycle rider over the course of his life. Jerry loved serving others; it was the essence of who he was. It was his gift, and serving others filled him. He was a treasured husband, father, brother, and friend and will be deeply missed. His legacy of faith, love, humor, and the excellence with which he tackled everything will live on in all who knew and loved him. The family would like to express sincere appreciation to the amazing team of healthcare professionals that were so important to us in these last 3 years: Dr. Hampton Rutland, Dr. Krina Patel and Dr. John Araujo of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. David Osafo and his staff, Dr. Nav Sharma, and Amy Wilson of Louisiana Hospice and Palliative Care who was our angel and everything we needed in Jerry’s final weeks.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Life Choices of North Central Louisiana 606 Belue Lane, Ruston, LA 71270 or Louisiana Teen Challenge.

A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, at LifeChurch in Ruston with visitation beginning at 11 a.m.