As a young boy, growing up on a farm, Gerald built his own toys: first a wooden tractor, then a miniature barn.
Nowadays, his custom creations–most of which he gives away to friends and family–include book shelves, cutting boards, TV cabinets and even a super-sized dog house for his granddaughter’s five dogs. He’s built churches too. After retiring from John Deere, he spent 10 years traveling around the country with an organization called Laborers for Christ.
“We would come in to a community to do the build and become like part of the congregation. I met a lot of wonderful people all over the United States, ate a lot of good food.”
But after spending years on the road, he and his wife, Evelyn, decided it was time to put down roots. Three years ago they made the move to England Oaks Active Adult Community. It has everything they were looking for: beautiful grounds with acres of shady oaks trees and the feel of a small town that Gerald had grown fond of on his travels.
“We love it here. Everyone is so friendly. We love participating in potluck suppers and game days.”
When he’s not socializing with neighbors or volunteering as a chaplain at Rapides hospital, you’ll find Gerald in his workshop just down the road from England Oaks. His latest project: creating clocks from repurposed cedar.
He still loves building toys, but these days they’re more likely to be rocking-horses for his great-granddaughters.