Thomasville Times Enterprise


November 5, 2013

Jerry Emery Sylvester Grooms

THOMASVILLE — The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. — Psalm 37:23. If there were just two words, an adjective that fits and surmises the character, persona and attributes of the man described by the Psalmist in the above scripture, it would be Jerry Grooms. There’s no doubt that God was always with Jerry, consistently ordering his steps in all walks of life. These great steps would begin with Jerry’s modest birth on Sept. 23, 1955, to Ms. Annie Maude Jones, but God knew Jerry had so much more to do in life, therefore God allowed Jerry to be adopted by the late Sylvester James and Annie Laura Jefferson Grooms on Sept. 26, 1955. After spending his youth matriculating through the Thomas County School System, Jerry’s career life began to take shape after his graduation from Thomasville High School in 1973. Soon after graduation, Jerry enrolled in Gupton-Jones College where he graduated with an associate’s degree in funeral services on Feb. 18, 1977. Yet God was still ordering Jerry’s footsteps and allowed Jerry to obtain the favor, much like King Joseph acquired of God in the Bible, and because of this favor, Jerry obtained the following recognitions and honors, Lt. Colonel Aid De Camp Governors Staff; State Board of Registered Professional Sanitarians; licensed funeral director in Georgia and Florida and Fourth District Mortician of the Year in 1985 (G.F.S.P.A.), where he was honored as a life member.  He was also Jerry was also given special recognitionby his 1973 classmates for being an outstanding citizen and classmate during his 40th year class reunion. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. — Deuteronomy 15:11. Jerry recognizing the need for making sacrifices beyond himself began to seek ways to help the community, and it was during the horrific Albany flood of 1994 that Jerry was instrumental with the recovery and identification efforts of the human remains which became unearthed. It was because of Jerry’s efforts along with countless other funeral directors, state workers and volunteers alike that families were spared more needless grieving which would’ve come from identifying their loved ones. And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone;I will make him an help meet for him. — Genesis 2:18. Jerry not only understood the importance of achievements and helping his fellow man, but one day he found himself enamored with a young lady. Jerry as a boy and as man was taught and understood the value of having the right woman in his life, and after much prayer and consideration, Barbara Ann Blackshear consented to be Jerry’s wife on June 23, 1984.  After 20 years, they renewed their vows and because it was a God ordained marriage they celebrated 29 years of love, laughter, some sadness and pains, but always looking to God the author and finisher of their faith, therefore God blessed their union with two children, Gerald Grooms and Kevin Grooms. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. — Hebrews 10:25. During all of Jerry’s life, he understood the value of honoring God with all that he had, therefore at an early age Jerry confessed a relationship with Christ and joined the Saint Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church in Thomasville. Jerry’s devotion and commitment was unwavering while being a member of the church, it was seen for 56 years as not only a member, but while serving on the Trustee Board as an acolyte, and as a Boy Scout, ultimately becoming a Boy Scout leader. Although painful, and after much prayer, God allowed Jerry and Barbara to make a transition and they joined the First Unity Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Charlie Ross in December 2012 and it was there that Jerry continued his faithful service to God until his death. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. — II Timothy 4:7–8. Jerry will always be remembered for serving for his well over 40 years of untiring and unwavering work and love that he gave to families in Thomas and other surrounding counties as owner of Grooms Funeral Home in Thomasville. Even in Jerry’s sickness, he could be seen working funerals showing compassion, care and concern for the loss of someone’s loved one and their families who were left behind grieving. Mrs. Barbara understood Jerry’s love and concern for all that he served and in spite of Jerry’s health, he would urge her to take him to funeral services for not only for those who Grooms Funeral Home buried, but also for those in the community that Jerry knew. Mrs. Barbara never forgot how committed Jerry was to the service and needs of others.  Therefore, based on his love and desire to keep showing the community the continued commitment, dignity and respect, he decided to employ the services of Stedderick Thomas as their licensed embalmer.  For the past three years, Jerry often expressed his love and values towards Mr. Thomas. Mr. Thomas recognizing the passion Jerry had for all he served, continues to exemplify in the work he gives to the families that Grooms Funeral Home serve and for that, Jerry and Barbara Grooms will be forever grateful. Although Jerry knew that time on this earth was valuable, he uniquely understood that it was limited as well, therefore after making a valid attempt to stay, fighting the sicknesses of this life, God granted Jerry access to the next phase of his life, his eternal life on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Jerry didn’t leave this world empty, or fruitless. Jerry leaves to celebrate his life and legacy his wife, Mrs. Barbara Grooms; children, Gerald Grooms, Kevin (Nikia) Grooms; his mother, Ms. Annie Maude Jones. He also leaves to cherish his memories his grandchildren, Malik, Theodore Emery, Nikyah, and Kelsie. He also leaves behind his siblings; Thomas Sonny (Carol) Searcy of Oglethorpe, Willie Ogburn of Ideal, Arber Marshall of Ashburn, Janie Banks of Lithonia, Sandra Watkins (Rev. Marcus) Burkes of Thomasville; a god-daughter, Nicki R.Davis; two brothers-in-law; six sisters- in-law; special friends; Wilbert Burney, James Bushware, Peter Bruton, Ronald Nixon;, and countless other friends; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his aunts, Willie Jefferson, Floree Jefferson; and one uncle, Booker T. Jefferson. Services are at 11 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 at at Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church, 615 East Calhoun St., Thomasville, where the Rev. William Brinson, pastor, and the Rev. Charlie Ross, officiating. Interment will follow in Peaceful Rest Cemetery. A wake service will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., today at First Unity Missionary Baptist Church, 1806 Fletcher St., Thomasville. — Grooms Funeral Home

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