Jerry Allred was born on November 15, 1943 to parents Joe & Charlotte in Brownwood, Texas. His brother Joe Charles passed away when he was only 3 years old, then making Jerry the oldest of his siblings Sandra, James Lee and Tommy Don. Jerry spent much of his childhood moving throughout West Texas and overcame many obstacles like polio and rheumatic fever.
The Allred Family finally settled in Fort Worth, Texas, where Jerry attended Diamond Hill Jarvis High School. He was voted to multiple class honors during his high school years. He excelled in all sports including football, where he was team captain. But Jerry wasn’t just a jock—he took a liking to reading novels and would visit the public library on a regular basis to read books and listen to classical music. He wrote a science-fiction novel his senior year and submitted it for publication.
We created a video about Jerry’s amazing life, and would like to share it with you:
After high school, Jerry and his best friend David Brooks took a summer job selling bibles in Tennessee and shortly after that, decided to join the military together. On July 8, 1963, Jerry and David joined the United States Navy. Jerry served in Fighter Squadron One Hundred Ninety-One for 4 years, 2 months and 14 days, where 2 years, 9 months and 28 days he was at sea. Jerry served his country honorably, earning many merits:
- Aviation Fire Control Technician
- Petty Officer 2nd Class
- Good Conduct Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Vietnam Service Medal
- Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device
- Navy Commendation Ribbon
When Jerry was honorably discharged from the Navy, he moved back to Fort Worth. His Navy training qualified him for a job with General Dynamics.
Soon after moving back to Fort Worth, Jerry called on a Miss Sharon Stringer for a date, which turned into a 3-hour conversation. It was then that Jerry knew he was going to marry Sharon, and 6 weeks later, did just that. On December 9, 1967 Jerry and Sharon Allred were pronounced husband and wife.
Jerry and Sharon’s first two children were sons: Jason Lloyd Allred (September 1969) and Jarrett Damon Allred (August 1972). During this time, Jerry was making a great living with General Dynamics and had built a house in Spring Town, Texas in which to raise his growing family. However, he was struggling with the fact that he was working all the time and not able to spend as much time as he wanted with his wife and children, which was the highest priority in his life.
So Jerry left a well-paying job and went back to school on the G.I. Bill. In 3 years, he had earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. During his college days, he and Sharon had two more children, a daughter and a son: Shelly Jean Allred (Orr) (November 1974) and James Diron “Hut” Allred (July 1976).
The Allreds were not planning to stay in Brownwood, but Jerry was offered a book keeping position with Brown County schools, and after a few years was promoted to Business Manager, where he managed 7 school districts. Life in Brownwood for Jerry was all about keeping up with his wife and four children. Jerry and Sharon made it a point to have at least one parent present at any of their kids’ activities—and there were a lot of events, but they made it happen.
When the Allred nest was empty, Jerry and Sharon decided to move to the DFW Metroplex to be closer to the kids, but unbeknownst to Jerry, his number would be called again. Jerry’s youngest son, Hut, called on Dad to help support the creation of New Wave Fitness, Inc. Jerry played a huge part in helping Hut lay down the foundation of the business, building reports, organizing and systemizing the company. As a result of Jerry’s vast knowledge and full support, the company grew every year since 2002 and finished its best year ever in 2013.
Being a close-knit group, the Allreds have done so many memorable things together. Family trips and get-togethers have been a vehicle to keep the family close over the years. Jerry’s vision was to provide for his family and to be there for them, which he did with flying colors. There’s not one person Jerry ever met who didn’t come away with a good feeling. In his last days, he was overheard telling his daughter-in-law, “If anybody asks about my life, it was all about helping people.”
On February 17, 2014, Jerry passed away, leaving his wife, four children, and 13 grandchildren—the legacy of a beautiful family. He meant the world to Sharon and their children and grandchildren and will live on through all of them. He will be missed, but never forgotten.
“I am going to miss my dad say ‘Mean Jean’ every day, but I know he is in a place where he can watch over us and be with others that have already joined ‘God’s gang.’ He can hug and tell stories to my son Daniel too. All I can say, he has always been there for his family through good times and bad times. He taught us family is the most important part of our lives. He also was strong, funny, caring, and loving. I know he will always be with me every day, and I will try to teach my family the same principles he taught me. I will always miss him and know one day I will join him and Daniel. Until then I will have two special angels watching over me and my family.”
Shelly Allred Orr – Daughter
“I can’t even put into words how much Pappa meant to me. He has been such a great inspiration! When I grow up I want to approach life the way he did. He was a fighter and a lover because he loved us all and he fought through everything that was put in front of him. Now, I know he is watching over me in everything that I do and I think he would be very proud of me. I love you, Pappa, and I’m going to miss you so much, but now you’re a part of ‘God’s gang’ watching over all of us. You will be missed very much and just know we all love you.”
Easton Orr – Grandson
“I am thankful for his blessing in giving me his daughter’s hand in marriage. He taught me how to be a man, a parent, when to talk and when to listen. My most favorite times were working along his side in some of Sharon’s projects: painted the house not once but thrice; built out a garage; constructed a storage shed among many other things and it all started by mowing his lawn on Crestridge so I would have money to take Shelly on a date. (Although I cannot prove it, I’m thinking he would send Jason, Jarret and or Hut to follow us). He provided me a wealth of knowledge that I will definitely work to instill in my children/his grandchildren. His work ethic is beyond extraordinary; don’t know how is heart fit in his chest (maybe because he kept giving a piece of it to each of us); his ability to stand firm, be fair and direct to all people and in all situations are just a few things that I will carry with me. He also taught me that only 3 cubes of ice are necessary when drinking iced tea. I love him and know that I, as will all of us, see him again in the Kingdom of Heaven. Thank you Jerry. God put you in my life for more than the reasons I can think of right now.”
James F. Orr – Son-in-Law
“My words cannot even begin to express how much Jerry means to me. I grew up without having my dad in my life, so I didn’t know what it was like to have that relationship that my friends had with their dads. But that all changed 29 years ago when I met Jerry. He immediately accepted me into his family and loved and treated me as one of his own. It didn’t take long and I finally knew what it felt like to have that special bond that I longed for. I’m not sure if anyone really knew at what magnitude that meant to me. Jerry stepped in and filled that role without hesitation. He was a man who always thought and did for others. I’ll never forget the time he took me shopping for our formal Christmas dance. I remember every detail about that day all the way to him insisting on the silver flower detail for my shoes. He was filled with joy to see me so happy. That’s how he always was, so proud of his family! He truly lived for seeing and making them happy. I looked up to him so much and always will. I know he is watching over us and that is so comforting. He loved his family dearly. He was an incredible husband, dad, and grandpa. I am beyond blessed to have so many memories and to have been loved by this amazing man. I’ll see you again someday, and what a glorious day that will be! I’ll love you forever and always, Jerry! Thank you for being my ‘dad.’”
Amy Stout – Daughter-in-Law
“There is not one way I can sum the thoughts and emotions I wish to portray in regard to Pappa. He touched my mind and heart in a way that brought both joy and sorrow, laughter and pain, all of which I used to help grow and develop as my own. I gladly retold his stories and shared the same words of that bitterly felt humor that lied restlessly within him. He both intrigued and motivated me. He encouraged pursuit and discouraged looking back or to dwell in uncertainty, concepts my own mind latched onto that dragged me further and further back. He was one of the many that I looked up to as I grew. He was always there, ready to witness progress, from any of us really. His heart was much too full and much to bright for a physical being to bear. I loved him, and still do, but, as he once stated, ‘Can’t let the quirks in life get you. Strike life with a passion,’ and so forth. He still wants us to meet progress in our own lively pursuits, and is now always ready to pat our shoulders and share his pride with a good tease to sum up that joy.”
Taylor Orr – Granddaughter
“Everybody on this this list knows ‘our’ dad’s bottom line was family. I could tell you countless stories, but I think he taught me more dealing with death than any other time. I have spent the last 25 plus years in fear of losing my dad. But in the final days he put me at peace knowing his fight was not about him; it was about knowing his family was going to be ok. Dad, we are going to be ok because we will pass you on through our children. Yes, we will ‘pay for our raising by raising our own’ just like you did. Love You!”
Jason Allred – Son
“The patriarch of the Allred clan! A voice of wisdom and reason. A pillar of strength, yet with a heart of mush when it came to his wife, kids, and grandkids. An impeccable example of what it means to be a family man. Maybe one of the smartest people I have ever known. These characteristics cannot even begin to describe the greatness of Jerry Allred. I had the immense pleasure of becoming part of the family about 7 years ago and I count it as such a blessing to have been so deeply impacted by this man in those 7 short years. He had a way of making me feel comfortable and accepted and loved as family right away! I think I was most significantly affected by the relationship he had with Sharon. Talk about a married couple that made a team! Those two shared a love that cannot be put down on paper. Old school love that is meant to last. I could never grow tired of hearing story after story, sometimes the same story over and over again, of how they would weather the storm together, making the most precious memories of the good times along the way. I loved watching him take care of his wife and love his wife. Early in Jason and I’s dating relationship, I found it reassuring to know that his parents had been married for more than 40 years. And the longer we dated, the more I could see first hand why their love and marriage had stood the test of time. Most recently, when the topic if hospice care came up, Jerry wanted to refuse a hospital bed at home because he wanted Sharon sleeping next to him. Putting her before his own needs. This is so telling of who he was and fortunately the example he set for my husband. I’m so grateful for the family man he was and the family man he raised his son to be. Jerry, your legacy lives on because of who you were! We love you so much!”
Jenni Weese Allred – Daughter in Law
“‘My Jo.’ Grandpa always called me that. I can’t even describe how much he meant to me. He was such an incredible and generous man. He was always willing to help in whatever way possible. I am so blessed by my parents in the way they have raised me, and that is all because of my grandpa. His life has taught me so much about how to live my life. He helped me realize to enjoy life to the fullest and to stop worrying about the little things. Just this past week I have experienced such joy and positivity in everything thing I do. I know for a fact that it is because of my guardian angel, Grandpa. I can still hear his laugh and all of his stories he always told. I loved how he would chuckle and tell me just how much I loved to eat out of his fridge!! ‘My Jo could eat.’ Grandpa, you will be missed so much. I can’t wait to run into your arms again and give you the biggest hug. I love you so much!”
Kelsey-Jo Allred – Granddaughter
“Strong. Fearless. Confident. Ambitious. Inspiring. Grateful. Loving. Tough. Incredible. Family man. There are not words that can describe the man that my grandpa was and still is. He has impacted my life more than he will ever know. I have looked up to him since I could walk. I have always longed for his approval and wanted to make him proud. Three years ago we were standing in his front yard and he told me that he was proud of me for making the decision to go to college. Hearing him tell me that made me feel so whole. I know he will be watching me the day I graduate from college and I want him to know that those words inspired me to get an education like he had. I am truly honored to say that I am his first grandchild. I am incredibly grateful to have had the longest time knowing my grandpa and every moment will be cherished. I can still hear his voice, feel his warmth, and smell his scent. I will keep this with me until we meet again, Grandpa. I will always remember the ‘you butt’ story and all the other stories that you would tell about grandma and yourself. Oh how I hope to find a man like you someday. Thank you for being such a wonderful husband to my grandma. The marriage you two had was unlike any other and I long to find that happiness each and every day. You fought and joked right up until the end and you wouldn’t have had it any other way. Our final moments were you kissing me and saying ‘I love you, my Pooh, more than you will ever know.’ Grandpa, I will love you more than you will ever know and we will meet again in heaven someday. You will always be with me and I hope I can make you proud. Until we meet again.”
Ashley Allred – Granddaughter
“I had the privilege of knowing Jerry for almost 9 years. While that may sound like a long time, it seems like just yesterday that I was being introduced to him for the first time. He welcomed me into his family with open arms, accepted me for who I was, no questions asked. I quickly learned what an intelligent, generous, loving family man he was. He was an epic storyteller and I always appreciated his dry sense of humor. One thing I will always remember him for and admire him for, was his genuine love for his family, each and every one of us. He seemed to have a way of saying ‘I love you’ without ever really having to say a word. His relationship with his wife has always been truly inspiring and his love for her ever apparent. Jerry raised and amazing family and I am truly honored to have known him and to be a part of that family. I’m deeply saddened that you are no longer able to walk through this life with us, Jerry, but I know you are looking down on us and watching over us from heaven. We love you so, and though you will be intensely missed, this is not goodbye, simply, see you later. Until we meet again.”
Malesa Guinn Allred – Daughter-in-Law
“You were there for me in every phase of my life. You were strict when I needed you to be. You were understanding and forgiving when I needed you to be. You gave me confidence when I needed it. You only gave me advice when I asked for it. You had immense patience when I needed you to be patient. I felt your love, respect, and pride for me my entire life. I appreciated everything you stood for, and I’ll spend the rest of my life representing you in everything I do. We didn’t say we loved each other many times but I love you, Dad, and will miss you!”
Hut Allred – Son
“What will I miss about Jerry? So many little things, like the sing-song way he used to say my name… ‘Barenduh,’ his easy smile and sense of humor, cracking jokes up until the very end, trying to make all of us feel better. His legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren as they raise their families, build their empires and continue to touch the lives of everyone they meet, just as he did. Jerry, I will miss you every day but am so grateful to have been a part of your life these past twelve years.”
Your Buddy – Brenda
“Even though I never met Jerry in person, he endeared himself to me as the kind of man whom everyone would want to adopt as their own father.”
Tara Needham – New Wave Fitness Marketing Manager