Jerry Maurice Felts, 88, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 30, at his Florence home following an extended illness. Visitation will be Saturday, July 3, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Greenview Funeral Home, followed by a service in the Greenview Memorial Chapel with Bro. Chris Underwood of Highland Baptist Church officiating. Burial will be in Greenview Memorial Park afterward.
"A great friend to so many," Mr. Felts was born in Joelton, Tenn., on May 18, 1933, the second child of James Woodruff and Pauline Tomlin Felts. He was a 1951 graduate of Nashville's City Public Schools system and immediately joined the U.S. Navy at the height of the Korean War.
He served his country with distinction for 20 years, achieving the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer and earning the Bronze Star for meritorious service in combat. Other military recognitions included the Combat Action Ribbon, Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, plus marksmanship awards for pistol and rifle. He served two stints in Vietnam before retiring from the Navy in January 1971. Naval deployments included Jacksonville, Fla.; Long Beach, Calif; the Azores Islands; Norfolk, Va.; and Columbia, Mo.; before settling in Florence in the late 1960s.
As a civilian, Mr. Felts was employed by Eltech Systems Corp. at its facilities in Tuscumbia and Chardon, Ohio. After retiring from Eltech, he worked for the Lauderdale County Solid Waste Department.
Mr. Felts was a longtime member of Highland Baptist Church in Florence, part of the church's Keenagers Club, and a University of Alabama football season-ticket holder for many years. He was an avid golfer and fan who enjoyed annual trips to the PGA Tour event in Hilton Head, S.C., to support Florence native Stewart Cink.
Mr. Felts was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, Barbara Ann; infant son, Richard Scott Felts; his parents; and a sister, Anne Ruth Pegram.
He is survived by his brother, J.W. Felts of Florence and sister, Barbara Nell Luttrell of Nashville; son, Jerry M. Felts, Jr., of Madison; daughter, Kimberly Bevis of Florence; grandchildren, Katherine Bevis Robertson of Madison, Benjamin Bevis of Killen and Taylor Felts of Madison; great-grandson, Zayn; great-granddaughter, Ella Ann; and canine friends Gracie, Sadie, Jules, Buddy and Charlie.
Pallbearers are Danny Beckwith, Don Black, Art Mankin, David Ray, Gary Robertson and Carl Ross. Honorary pallbearers are Billy Isom, Jim Owens and Jerry Eckl.
The family thanks the staffs from Kindred Hospice and Aspire Innovative In-Home Senior Care for their benevolence and affection while caring for Mr. Felts.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Cramer Children’s Center in Florence.
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