Mr. Gerald Dean Shoaf, a member of the Greatest Generation, passed away on March 29, 2019 surrounded by his family. Gerald was born February 23, 1918 in Stanton, Tennessee the son of Walter Austin Shoaf and Electa Shoaf. He came from a large family of six brothers and two sisters all working on the family farm during his early years. He once said they were so poor during the depression that they didn’t know there was a depression. Gerald joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 and was assigned to the training squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida. At the time Fort Walton and Eglin were so small that he and his buddies would travel to DeFuniak Springs for entertainment. One weekend there was a dance hosted by the USO at the Chautauqua building and it was there he met the love of his life, Geraldine Beach. They fell in love and were married a year later at her home in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. His first military assignment was at Eglin AB and served as a B-17 flight engineer. As World War II ended he was deployed to Ashia Airbase on the Honshu Island of Japan as part of the Japanese Occupation Force, There he served as crew chief for a P-51 Mustang Squadron. After spending two years in Japan he had duty stations in Pasadena, Texas, Harlingen, Texas and Homestead AFB, Florida. At the end of his military career they retired and moved to DeFuniak Springs. For ten years he worked as a security guard at the Site C-6 radar site on Eglin Reservation and also at Fairchild Aircraft Facility in Crestview, Florida. He also raised chickens for Purdue Farms. Gerald was an active member of First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs since 1960 and was a member of the Thorpe Vest Sunday School Class. Gerald and Gerry also had a love for camping that was passed down to their children and grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Geraldine, of 72 years, his parents, Walter and Electa Shoaf; brothers Thomas (Martharetta) Shoaf, Ray (Voncille) Shoaf, Malcolm (Mary) Shoaf, Walter Gordon (Sarah) Shoaf and Wayne Shoaf; sister Catherine Tanner and brothers-in-law L. C. Thornton and Bill Schmieder.
He is survived by his one sister, Martha Jean Thornton, daughter Linda (Bill) Nall, son Terry (Paula) Shoaf, daughter Vicki Shoaf, brother-in-law Artie (Martha) Beach, sisters-in-law Catherine Schmieder and Rosemary Shoaf, grandchildren Kevin (Lisa) Nall, Lisa Nall Morgan, Austin (Alison) Shoaf, Brandy (Andy) Brown and 11 great grandchildren.
The family would like to express their love and gratitude to all of those involved in the wonderful care their dad received including Hospice and his caregivers Jeanne Barnes and Tammy Goodreau. Their love and care for our dad will be forever in our hearts.
A time of visitation will be Monday, April 1, 2019 from 10 until 11 A.M. in Jerry Evans Chapel with the funeral beginning at 11:00 with Reverend Francis Turner officiating. Full military honors will follow in the Shoaf Family Plot in Magnolia Cemetery.
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