Gerald “Jerry” Poats, 91, of Elizabethton, TN, formerly of Athens, passed away Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at Hillview Health and Rehab.
Born April 1930 in Jackson, Michigan, he graduated from Hillsdale, Michigan high school before moving to Angola, Indiana with his family.
After his marriage to Cecilia in 1950, the couple moved to Warsaw, Indiana where Jerry, as he was known to his friends, worked as an automotive paint and body expert, a typewriter and adding machine mechanic and finished his career as a tool & die and machinist operator making special order joint replacements for Zimmer, Mfg in Warsaw, Indiana.
Relocated to Athens, TN upon his retirement in 1986 and built his home with the help of his wife of 49 years, Cecilia.
A member of the National Guard, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Swift Museum Foundation, Mercedes-Benz Club of America and Athens Lutheran Church. Gerald was an accomplished mechanic, body work specialist and precision machinist and tool & die professional. He prided himself in his restored Swift aircraft and his prized antique automobiles. He was always happy to lend a hand where needed. If you spent much time around him, you were going to hear some great stories. Jerry traveled extensively including driving the entire length of Route 66 in his antique Mercedes convertible, fly-ins all over the country in his Swift aircraft, camping in many of the National Parks and trips to Hawaii and Alaska. He never knew a stranger.
Gerald was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Cecilia and his second wife Betty Jo.
He is survived by his daughter Vickie Dugger and her husband, Mark Dugger of Elizabethton;
Grandchildren Dr. Eric Baurle and his wife, Sarah of Brentwood, and Brett Baurle and his wife, Mary of Johnson City;
Great Grandchildren Macy Baurle and Zoe Zehring (children of Brett and Mary), and Everett Baurle and Charlotte Baurle (Children of Eric and Sarah);
Sisters Sally Palmer and her husband Bob of Ohio, and Nancy Berry of Indiana.
Graveside Services will be at 2 PM, Wednesday November 24, 2021 at McMinn Memory Gardens Mausoleum.
The family will receive friends from 12 – 1:30 PM Wednesday at Ziegler Funeral Home.
Family and friends will serve as pallbearers.
If you cannot attend the visitation or graveside services, you are encouraged to sign the online registry at: www.zieglerfuneralhome.com
Ziegler Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of Gerald “Jerry” Poats.
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