Fort Worth – Jerry Arnold Deering passed away Sunday, February 18, 2018.
Service: 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 24 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington where he was a member for 64 years. Visitation: 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Friday, February 23 at Wade Funeral Home in Arlington.
Pallbearers: Keller Smith, Bryce Benson, Brad Benson, Wade O’Hara, Tanner Hapeman, and Chase Hapeman.
Memorials: His memory may be honored with a gift to the Alzheimer’s Association North Central Texas Chapter, 2630 West Freeway, Suite 100, Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
This is a story about how a good man’s life was lived. That good man was Jerry Deering. Born in Decatur, Alabama on July 28, 1928, Jerry was the proud son of Katie Alice Anderson and James Thomas “Tom” Deering. He was the fourth of five children including older siblings William Thomas “Billy,” Robert Edward “Bob,” sister Sara, and baby sister, Betty Nell.
In 1930, the Deering clan packed up and moved to the small town of Arlington, Texas. Jerry had a wonderful childhood filled with Mom’s good cooking and Dad’s steady hand for guidance.
Jerry graduated from Arlington High School where he was a popular guy and made many lifelong friends. In 1951, he received his Bachelor of Science in Commerce from TCU and remained a lifelong Frog! After college he joined the United States Air Force and served with honor in the Korean War.
When he returned, he worked in sales for a couple of years, but was ready to expand his horizons and apply his education to a more compatible career. He found it in 1951 as manager of what was then Fort Worth Teachers Credit Union and retired 41 years later as President of what is now EECU.
Jerry said many times, “I could never have found a more satisfying life’s work if I had planned it. There has not been a day when I did not look forward to coming to my office, meeting the challenges – not all pleasant ones – and nurturing this very fine Credit Union to it’s high standing in the community.”
A pioneer of credit unions in the United States, this legend lived the philosophy of “people helping people.” Jerry served with distinction in leadership positions for numerous local, state and national credit union organizations including an appointment in 1962 to the newly founded Texas State Credit Union Advisory Commission by Texas Governor Price Daniel. He later became Board Chairman of the Texas credit union owned Town North National Bank. His guidance and knowledge were sought by credit unions from across the nation.
In April 1970, Jerry married a girl he met in second grade, Virginia “Ginger” Sue Vandergriff and joined her in raising her four young children, a task he relished.
Jerry loved music and particularly loved singing Edelweiss with Ginger although his enthusiasm was far better than the sound of his big gravel voice.
He also loved golf and played everywhere he could … from Pebble Beach to
St. Andrews to Latrobe, where he met and became friends with Arnold Palmer.
Jerry believed in the goodness of mankind and was fiercely protective of those he loved and respected. He was the guy that always rewarded honest efforts and openly recognized them by offering a hand up … not a hand out.
He could see the potential in a person to do great things before that individual or anybody else did, and he would stand up for that person when maybe nobody else would. He gave others the direction and latitude to not only prove themselves, but also excel, then push them harder because he knew they could do even more.
He listened to your problems and encouraged you to reach inside and discover your own strengths and capabilities. He was a master at opening doors to a better future for others. He was simply the best friend, mentor, boss, uncle, brother, son, father and husband anyone could possibly have. The lives he touched are countless. His love of life and great wisdom will live on in the hearts of all those that knew him.
Jerry Deering was a good man who lived a good life that he so richly deserved.
His wife, Ginger; parents, Tom and Katie; brothers, Billy and Bob and sister, Sara, preceded Jerry in death.
Survivors: Sister, Betty Merrifield and husband, Gary; four children, Charlsey Fawkes and husband, Rick; Tommy Hapeman; Dorcas Benson and husband, Dennis; Vance Hapeman and wife, Dana; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; 10 nieces and nephews; and a host of extended family and friends.
Wade Family Funeral Home