Gerald Vernon Pierce, age 88, went home to be with his Lord Tuesday, August 30, 2022. He was born February 8, 1934, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Carl Murray and Ruth Vernon Pierce. Gerald grew up in the town of Kentwood, LA, graduating from Kentwood High School. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in 1957. Gerald was recruited almost immediately to work in Oak Ridge. Over the course of his career as a chemical analyst, he worked at each of the plants, some more than once. After retiring from Martin Marietta, Gerald went on to work at DPI doing forensic product failure analysis and writing reports on product failures.
While in his new hometown, Gerald visited Glenwood Baptist Church with a friend. There he was introduced to Gloria Lane, whom he would marry in 1960. They resided on East Drive, where they raised their family, for the remainder of their lives. Gerald became a member and served Glenwood Baptist Church as a deacon, choir director (twice), and choir member until Parkinson’s disease limited his abilities. In between his time at Glenwood, Gerald served as “temporary” music director at Clear Branch Baptist Church in Lake City (Rocky Top), TN for
nearly 31 years.
Gerald was a quiet man, but people who met him instantly could tell his love for them and for his Lord was genuine. He loved good music and the hymns of the church. He sang for
many years with the Tennessee Baptist Men’s Chorale, a singing group composed of church choir directors from across the state. He had a marvelous tenor voice and frequently would sing solos and duets with Gloria at church. Favorites of his to sing were “The King Is Coming,” “Calvary’s Love,” “The Holy City,” “In the Garden,” and “Whispering Hope.”
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Gloria. Survivors include three children, Edward Pierce and wife, Jessica, of Knoxville, Randall Pierce of Nashville, and Nancy Pierce of Clinton; brother, Alan Pierce, and wife, Shelia, of Tulsa, OK; grandchildren, Julia and Elliot Pierce; and numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews, all of whom he loved with his whole heart.
The family would like to thank nurses, Vileta and Carol, and therapists, Ryn, Jeff, and Kyle, for the loving and dedicated care they provided to Gerald. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Gerald’s memory to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association at apdaparkinson.org/get-involved/memorial-and-tribute-gifts/ or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at michaeljfox.org/donate.
The family will receive friends 12-2 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2022, at Glenwood Baptist Church. Funeral services will be held at 2 pm with Rev. Robert Lane of Harbour Light Baptist, Princeton, WV, and Rev. Mark Walton of Glenwood Baptist, officiating. Interment will follow at 3 pm at Anderson County Memorial Gardens. Masks are optional but will be available for those attending. Online condolences may be left at weatherfordmortuary.com.