Obituary for Gerald Wayne Spakes
Gerald Wayne Spakes went to be with his Lord Wednesday, Nov. 15. Gerald was born July 12, 1938, in Rison, Ark., to William Ray and Dona Belle Phelps Spakes. In 1955, he graduated from Rison's Woodlawn High School. He was a scholar, as well as a star basketball and baseball player. He was recruited by the New York Yankees, but an arm injury sidelined that opportunity. Gerald enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in December 1960. He married the love of his life, Gladys Evelyn Rankin Feb. 9, 1962, in Hardin, Ark. His son Gary Dwayne was born at Kincheloe Air Force Base, Michigan in 1963 and his son Geoffrey Edward was born at Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah in 1968. Gerald was honorably discharged February 1972 as Staff Sergeant; he immediately began employment in the United States Department of Defense for various branches of the U.S. Military. He was a dedicated and talented employee specializing in electronic warfare and was stationed in Michigan, Utah, Mississippi, Okinawa, the Philippines, California, Germany, Maryland, and Florida. During his retirement, he lived in Florida, Arkansas and North Carolina. In 2011, Gerald moved to Erie, Colo., to be closer to his youngest grandchildren. He is survived by his son Gary and his wife Shannon and their children Jacob William and Taylor Lee of Apex, N.C., and his son Geoffrey, his wife Jill Stravolemos and their children Savannah Evelyn and Grace Stinson of Erie, Co., his brother- and sister-in-law Randy and Janice Poindexter of Apollo Beach, Fla., as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to his own cherished grandchildren, he was "Papaw" to many. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, brother Bobby Ray Spakes and sister Betty Jo Thompson. Gerald lived for family and friends. He was a faithful Christian and enjoyed singing southern gospel music. He was a devoted father, little league coach, skillful gardener, cook and handyman. He was an avid Arkansas Razorback and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan and also followed golf and NASCAR sports. Those who were blessed to know Gerald treasured his booming voice, his sparking blue eyes, wide smile and bear hugs. He was deeply, fully adored and loved by many. A graveside service will be held 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 21 at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver, Colo. Gerald's family extends gratitude and appreciation to the remarkable care team at Genesis Senior Living including Teresa Teeslink, resident care director, and Anita, Rhonda, Rita, Maria, Chelsea, Angie, Tracie, Karla and Christina. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations are made to TRU Community Care, 2594 Trailridge Drive East, Lafayette, CO 80026.