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Phillips University Legacy Scholars for 2016-2017
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|Belcher, Gerald Dewey||FS|
D.O.D 01/18/2014 - Gerald Belcher, of Pearland, Texas, was born in Welch, West Virginia, on June 21, 1939, to Paris and Margaret Shannon Belcher. He was the youngest of eight children.
Gerald, also known as “Tommy,” enlisted in the Army in May 1957, at age 17 and served his country for two years. Soon thereafter, he realized that he missed the military and was committed to serving his country, so he joined the Marine Corps in September 1960.
He married his first wife, Clara, in April 1965. They had two children and five grandchildren.
He served two tours in Vietnam, one in 1966 and another in 1968, where he was wounded. He received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Combat V for his heroic actions in saving the lives of several fellow Marines.
After serving his time with the Marines, he went back to his home with the intent to work in the coal mines, but the call to duty was too strong to keep him there. In September 1971, he re-enlisted in the Air Force and served in Security Forces until he retired in August 1980, with more than 22 years of military service.
He attended college at Phillips University while still in the Air Force, majoring in business administration.
He then went to work for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in 2001 with 20 years as a civil servant.
He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren. He loved to travel and spent a lot of time hunting and fishing. He was always ready to help with anything from projects to cooking. He was also a great assistant home brewer for his son, Paul.
He married his second wife, Pattie, in 2013 after losing his first in 2010. They loved to travel and spend time with their grandchildren, as well as friends from church.
Gerald had by two sons, Paul and Michael. He died January 18, 2014.