Jerry Neil Easterling, 75, of Big Spring, passed away Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, in a Midland hospital. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at the Nalley-Pickle & Welch Rosewood Chapel with Chaplain Scott Jimenez of the Big Spring Veterans Administration Hospital officiating, assisted by Lt. Col. (ret) Vaughn Martin. Burial will follow at Trinity Memorial Park with full military honors.
A visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home.
Mr. Easterling was born Aug. 19, 1936, in Morgantown, Miss., to Jim and Ruby Easterling. The second of seven brothers and sisters, he left home immediately after high school to join the United States Air Force at the age of 17.
As a young Airman, Jerry was stationed at Webb Air Force Base in Big Spring where he met Sue Ann Everett. They were married April 19, 1956, in Lovington, N.M., and had four children. Sue preceded him in death July 5, 1986.
Jerry worked in USAF airborne electronics and communications maintenance. He served three combat tours in Vietnam and received numerous medals. He was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in military operations against the Viet Cong, and he also received the Air Force Commendation Medal. He was stationed at numerous stateside and foreign bases during his 21 years in the USAF. MSgt. Jerry Easterling retired from active duty Sept. 1, 1974.
He continued serving his country as a civil servant in the Veterans Administration, working a combined total of 23 years at VA facilities in Big Spring, Texas, and Gulfport, Miss. While at the Big Spring VA, he met Bobbie Johnston. They were married Oct. 30, 1987, in Livingston, Texas and lived in Gulfport, Miss., almost 10 years. In 1997, he retired and they moved back to Big Spring.
Jerry rarely sat still for long, always gardening and cooking. He was an avid stock trader. Jerry couldn’t stand for any creatures — dogs, cats, birds or people — to be hungry or sad and he often lent a helping hand to others in need. Jerry was honorable, a man of his word who embodied Air Force core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all you do.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Darrell; and two step-grandchildren, Casie and Brent.
He is survived by his wife, Bobbie of the home in Big Spring; a son, James Randall (Randy) Easterling and wife Lisa of San Antonio; a stepdaughter, Zina and husband David Wood and a stepson, Sammy, all of Big Spring; two brothers, Jimmy and Jeff, and three sisters, Jean, Joan and Doll, all of Mississippi; three daughters, Wanda, Teresa and Lisa, all residing out of state; nine grandchildren; and numerous great- and great-great grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested to the Big Spring Humane Society, P.O. Box 823, Big Spring, Texas 79721-0823 or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Big Spring. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com