BRIDGEPORT – Gerald Lynn Counts, 90, passed away April 30, 2014, in Bridgeport, Texas.
Service is 10 a.m.,Tuesday, May 6, at Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home with burial following at Perrin Memorial Cemetery.
Gerald was born April 13, 1924, in Wise County, Texas. His parents, Lawrence Earl and Mattie Lorene, were farmers, and during the “Great Depression” they did not suffer from hunger. Gerald was the oldest of three children. Gerald graduated high school in Perrin, and then enrolled in Texas A&M University. Shortly afterward he withdrew and joined the Army. He was in the 1st Division, 506 Regiment, C Company,101st Airborne. He jumped into Normandy and Holland, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. On Dec. 20, 1944, the Germans launched an attack that led to the capture of the medical company, all of the surgical teams and all of the wounded. The medical company was located in Western Bastogne. Gerald Counts was among those who were captured. He was a prisoner with about 1,200 other prisoners in the barracks at Limburg. He was held prisoner for around six months.
Gerald Counts does not have the uniform he wore during the war because it was burned in Belgium when he was released by the British. He still has his many decorations. Gerald was awarded two Bronze Stars (one for his jump into Normandy and one for his jump into Holland), a Purple Heart, a Presidential Unit Citation, The Good Conduct Medal, and The Medal for Prisoners of War and his various campaign medals.
Gerald lived a full and enjoyable life on his own terms. He was a highway patrolman in El Paso, a chef, worked for the railroad and worked at Lockheed Martin. He also had an entrepreneurial spirit, owning grocery stores and other businesses.
Gerald leaves behind daughters Donny Gillum and husband, Tom; Carolyn Gillum and husband, Ted; grandchildren, Brent Gillum and wife, Amanda, and Heather Garner and husband, Kyle; great-grandchildren Caitlin, Cassidy, Braedan, Gabby, Tyson, Matt, Grant, Jax, Jace and Ellison; sister, Joy Counts; brother, Pat Counts and wife, LaRue; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Gerald was preceded in death by his wife, Marueen Counts; parents; and a granddaughter, Renee Gillum.
Condolences may be left at www.bcbfuneralhome.com.
Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner Funeral Home