Blanket - A graveside funeral service for Gerald Tunnell, age 85, of Blanket, will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, January 23, 2021 in the Blanket Cemetery, under the direction of Heartland Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the Blanket First United Methodist Church from 10:00 AM until 1:30 PM on Saturday.
Gerald was born Bobby Gerald Tunnell in Blanket, Texas on August 17, 1935, in the living room of his grandparents' home, to Raymond Delbert & Rhoda Letrice Eoff Tunnell. He was the eldest of their three children and became a lifelong resident of Blanket; living all 85 years in Blanket and having lived the last 26 years on the Tunnell family homeplace his grandparents settled on in 1875.
Gerald began school at Indian Creek where his mother was a teacher and later moved to Blanket Schools and was a proud member of the class of 1954. He attended church with his family as a kid at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Blanket until it disbanded in the 1960s and then became a dedicated and faithful member of the Blanket United Methodist Church. After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany; the only time he left Blanket.
After being honorably discharged, he returned to Blanket and went to work in the transportation industry hauling feed all across Texas for Melvin Redd. In 1970 he went to work for the Texas Department of Transportation and retired after 25 years in 1995.
On August 30, 1968, Gerald married Carolyn O'Barr Browder in Blanket. Upon this union he also received 2 children; a daughter, Rebecca Jane 'Becky' Browder and a son Steven Carl Browder, to which he loved as his own from the beginning. In 1971, Gerald & Carolyn had a son of their own, Justin Raymond. All 3 children attended and graduated from Blanket High School; which began a lifetime of support and encouragement for their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all of those they claimed and loved as well.
Gerald was blessed with a servant's heart and not only supported his family but also the community and those around him. He served on the Blanket City Council as well as the Blanket ISD Board of Trustees. He flipped countless burgers, stirred endless pots of chili and made numerous trips to Kerrville in support of the Blanket Lions Club. Gerald and Carolyn gave countless hours of selfless volunteer service to the Good Samaritan Ministries alongside the members of their church family at the Blanket United Methodist Church.
Gerald & Carolyn both retired in 1995 and enjoyed 26 years of retirement together on the farm. They were both stewards of the land and took seriously the roll they had in taking care of what they were entrusted. They enjoyed many miles of the Texas landscape during all seasons of the year traveling to and from their favorite places across the State. But most importantly, they enjoyed following their grandchildren around in all of their activities whether sports, school plays, and functions, baptisms, piano recitals, church activities, fundraisers, weddings and the like. What made that even better was later being able to follow their great grandchildren around doing all of the same things.
Gerald is survived by his sons Justin and wife Brandy of Blanket, Steve and wife Crystal of Brownwood; a sister Elaine Early and husband Lonnie of Texarkana, a brother Delbert and wife Brenda of Blanket and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Chico & Ginnie Denis of Vancourt. He is also survived by his grandchildren Curt & Jamie Tunnell, Clint & Jami Tunnell and Laura & Slade Cozart; Brook Parker, Lindsay & Bill Talton, Darcy & Skip McLinden, Zac & Amber Browder and Justin Price; Corie & Matthew Bell, John Mobley, Brittany & Weston Norway and Brianna Mobley; great grandchildren Hayden, Brayson, Stella and Savannah Tunnell, Carter, Parker and Bec Tunnell, Wyatt, Emmett and Elliott Cozart, Carter & Colton Parker, August & Baelin Talton, Ellie & Zachary McLinden, Charlie Browder, Elias Norway, Dominic Mobley and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends and his special friend and caregiver Jami Archer.
Gerald was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Carolyn on April 23, 2020, his parents, Raymond & Letrice Tunnell and his daughter, Becky Tunnell in 2000 and a great grandson Owen Norway.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Gerald's name to the Blanket United Methodist Church, PO Box 65, Blanket, 76432 or a favorite charity of the donor.
Condolences, memories and tributes can be offered to the family online at heartlandfuneralhome.net
Posted online on January 22, 2021