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Gerald Leon Souders
Born on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, the 13th of 14 children, Gerald Leon Souders was the first of Chester and Frieda Souders' babies to be delivered in a hospital. He grew up in an area of Lancaster, Pennsylvania called Cabbage Hill, was an altar boy at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, worked at Howry's High Grade Meats, and attended Lancaster Catholic high school; all of which figured prominently in his colorful stories.
On January 19, 1952 he asked the prettiest girl in school to go steady, and Sybil O'Rourke said yes. Warned by nuns not to date those Souders boys, she was overwhelmed by his outgoing personality, the sparkle in his eyes, and his persistence. They married on August 25, 1956.
He was in love with his family. He doted upon his wife Sybil, who never doubted his love for one minute. Married 61 years, they celebrated their 50th anniversary by taking the kids and grandkids to Disney World, a dream come true for them. Their 3 sons and 2 daughters admired him greatly. To them, he was bigger than life.
After high school, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and was stationed in Japan. He attended Franklin & Marshall College under the GI bill, earning his economics degree in 3 years. He worked in sales for Proctor and Gamble and Playtex until 1978, when he moved the family to Texas and began working for his brother John at Reacond Associates. There he learned the HVAC business as a manufacturer's representative and later took over the business that his son now leads. While many anticipated he would have a hard time adjusting to retirement, he happily occupied himself with golf, travel, and family. He might want me to point out he hit two holes-in-one.
Gerald was a man of great faith. A member of St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, he served the parish as an usher, a greeter, and a lector. Though he had his share of heartache, he could only be heard counting his blessings. His sunny disposition and acceptance of circumstances included his diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Gerald entered his eternal reward on January 19, 2018, holding his wife's hand and surrounded by family. He is survived by his wife Sybil, son Frank and wife Debra, son Steve, son Michael and wife Amy, daughter Jane and husband Chris Rowley, and daughter Amy and husband Tim Gill as well as beloved grandchildren Jennifer, Aubrey, Benjamin, Julia, Daniel, Max, Caroline, Eva, and Abbey.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, 1/24 at 10:30 a.m. at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plano. Visitation will be held Tuesday, 1/23 from 6-8:00 p.m. at Ted Dickey Funeral Home, 2128 18th St, Plano. A rosary will be said at 7:30.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to PLAN of North Texas, a program supporting individuals with severe mental illness and their families. Send c/o Jewish Family Service; 5402 Arapaho Rd. Dallas TX 75248.