Gerald Ray Black made his last big play as the starter of this life, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at Mobile Infirmary Hospital, where he lost his 10 year battle with congestive heart failure during a double bypass and mitral valve replacement. It was only fitting that he be at the hospital where he was born, December 1, 1966, to Alfred and Shirley (Ballard) Black in Mobile, Alabama. Services are Saturday, October 24, 2020, at Lathan Funeral Home in Jackson, Alabama with internment at Fairhope Cemetery in Washington County, Alabama. Visitation will be from 12:30 to 2 with the service beginning at 2 p.m. in the Chapel.
Soon after Gerald’s birth, the family moved to Waynesboro, MS, where they made their home for the first 13 years of his life. He would be joined with two siblings. Cory and Jason Black. During that time he started little league and enjoyed being a Boy Scout under the guidance of his Daddy and Mere Whittingham. When he was 13 his family moved to Jackson, Alabama, where Gerald would spend his high school years playing baseball and football. He graduated in 1985 from Jackson High School and continued his education as Nashville Diesel/Auto School in Nashville, TN, where he received his degree. Later in his life, he received his Bachelor of Science from Troy University in 2010, majoring in History with a concentration in Anthropology and Archaeology and a minor in Education and Art.
Upon completion of his degree in Diesel Mechanics, he would work in a variety of capacities for numerous Companies from Poole Truck Lines to Georgia Pacific in Peterman, AL. His career ended in Midland/Odessa, TX, after working as a Diesel Mechanic for over 20 years.
Gerald married Catherine McIlwain Black, September 18, 1999, and become the Daddy to her 7-year-old son Theophilus Paul McIlwain and they would later enlarge their family by one with the birth of Allison Dale-Ray Black. Over the years they would make homes in Jackson, Monroeville, Troy, AL, with their son and daughter; lather they would move to Portales, New Mexico, Midland/Odessa, TX, Batesville, MS, and Wagarville, AL., where he, Alli, and Cat would live.
He enjoyed spending time with his family and his extended family. The days in the park with his grandbaby Reigh were highlights, and the many kids that passed through the doors of their home in Wagarville have been memorable. There was nothing he loved better than watching his son Paul excel in baseball and football during his high school years and as many of you know he was an avid Alabama fan. Recently he found a new love, participating with the Wagarville Senior/Community Center and the variety show. He was looking forward to the next show.
Gerald was preceded in death by his daddy, Alfred Black. He is survived by his mother, Shirley Black of Mobile, siblings Cory (Sandy) Black of Nashville, TN, Jason Black of Mobile, his wife, Catherine Black of Wagarville, his son Paul McIlwain of Tibbie, three daughters, Allison (Alli) Dale-Ray Black, of Wagarville, Chelsea Harvey of Quitman, MS, Katelynne Coonrod of Nashville, TN, one granddaughter Reighlyn Marie McIlwain (Shena Blount) of Millry, and a host of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews and a devoted friend, Buck Nash of Malcolm. Honorable mention to Daniels Marks, Michael, and Hannah McLaughlin and their son Alex, Blair Kendall, and Mackenzie Osborn their son Everett and daughter Analynn Kendall of Batesville, MS, Bobby Wilkerson, and Shannon Taylor also of Batesville, MS.
Honorary pallbearers, his son Paul McIlwain, Christopher and Malinda Alexander of Batesville, MS, and the graduating class of Jackson High School 1985. Pallbearers are Chris Zimperri of Goshen, Blye Odom, and Anikan Odom of Millry, Tommy Gilpin of Wagarville, Gary Counselman, and Daniel Marks both of Jackson.