Warder, Gerald L.
December 21, 1935 - February 2, 2017
Gerald “Jerry” Warder passed away on February 2nd at the age of 81. He was a beloved husband, father, grandpa (called “Papa”), and friend to all who knew him. A celebration of his life will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, March 4th at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas.
Jerry was born in Keokuk, Iowa and was raised in Hamilton, Illinois. Jerry served in both the Army and Air Force. He served as part of the Color Guard in Washington, DC where he announced parades and other events, including the visit of the Queen of England. He met the love of his life, Joyce, while on a blind date. They were married in Clarinda, Iowa on June 15, 1963. The couple welcomed their first daughter, Suzanne, in 1964 while living in Keokuk, Iowa. In 1966, the family moved to Texas and eventually settled permanently in Irving. The couple welcomed their second daughter, Jennifer, there in 1970.
Jerry worked for Hoerner Box Company while living in Iowa and for Bell Helicopter with 30 years of service from 1967 until his retirement in 1997. The arts were a draw for Jerry from the time he was young. Bell Helicopter’s access to tickets offered the family the ability to attend many professional shows in the DFW area at venues such as Dallas Summer Musicals and Casa Manana, providing many good memories for the family.
Jerry was not just an observer of the arts, he was an active participant in the arts from high school on. He enjoyed both acting and singing and participated in theater groups during his time in the military and as a civilian. He and Joyce were active members of the Irving Community Theater in the 70’s and 80’s when it was made up largely of couples with young families. He won the Irving Community Theater Best Actor award during the 1986-1987 season for his role in California Suite. Besides acting, Jerry loved to dance, so he was a big hit at weddings! He and his wife, Joyce, would spend date nights going out dancing together. Jerry was also interested in the medical field, which led to many years of volunteer work at Irving Community Hospital. For vacations, beaches were the best; Jerry loved going to the beach where he walked along the water’s edge looking for seashells and enjoying the waves and sea birds.
Jerry was baptized in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and joined the Presbyterian Church in 1963. He was ordained as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Irving. In later years, he was a member of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. He was an active part of church choirs throughout his life.
Jerry was preceded in death by his mother, Evelyn Payne and his father, Lee Warder. Left to cherish his memory are his stepmother, Eleanor Warder; Joyce, his wife of 53 years; daughters Suzanne Taylor and Jennifer Warder; brother John R. Warder and his wife Cathy; grandchildren Jennifer McCain and husband Chase, Ashley Taylor, and Nicole Taylor; bonus granddaughter Sarah Sherman; great grandchildren Kynnedi Taylor, Brenna McCain, Taylor McCain, Liam McCain, and Max McCain; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
The family wants to thank all of the health care professionals at the VA of Dallas who provided compassionate and loving care for Jerry over the years and, especially, toward the end of his life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to support one of the following:
- Music Ministry at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (Make check out to “Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church” with memo “Music Ministry” and send to Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, 9800 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230) or
- Fisher House that supports families of VA patients (Make check out to “VA North Texas Healthcare System” with memo “Fisher House” and send to VA North Texas Healthcare System, 4500 South Lancaster Road, Dallas, TX 75216).
Please send the family condolences and sign the guest book on this site.
Arrangements are under the direction of:
Aria Cremation Service & Funeral Home
1820 N. Belt Line Road
Irving, Texas 75061
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.