Gerald Thomas Kidd, 97, passed away February 20, 2021 at NMMC-Tupelo, MS. He was born on July 17, 1923 to John Boswell Kidd and Idella Moody Kidd. Most of his childhood years were spent on a farm in Pontotoc County. He graduated from Hurricane High School. On February 12, 1944, he married Mildred Dowdy from the Shady Grove community. In May 1944 he entered into active service as a private in the Army and was assigned to the European theatre of WWII. He was a rifleman in the 2nd platoon of Company B 318th Infantry. In late December his unit was in a battle in Ettlebrunk, Luxembourg, where they came under direct fire from tanks. Gerald and six other men escaped and for a while remained hidden in an old house. Then shortly before Christmas 1944, some German soldiers found them and made them prisoners. Gerald was liberated on April 30, 1945 and was awarded a purple heart. Following his discharge from the Army, Gerald returned to Pontotoc and was reunited with Mildred. They had two children. For a few years Gerald farmed, but he never really took to it, so in 1951 he moved his family to Memphis and began a career in home building that took the family around the country. He worked in Memphis until 1963 when Inland Homes transferred him to Cedartown, Georgia to manage a plant. Subsequent career moves took Gerald to manage housing plants in Piqua, OH and back to Memphis, TN then to Malden, MO and finally to Haleyville, AL. This last move introduced Gerald and Mildred to the beauty of the Gulf Coast. Following retirement, they lived on the beach in Fort Morgan, AL for over 20 years and loved being a part of the community. Gerald was a volunteer with the fire department and served as a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Gulf Shores. Gerald was a lifelong Baptist, and church life was an important part of family life. During the Memphis years, the family was active in Parkway Baptist, which moved and then became Broadway Baptist. Not long after Hurricane Ivan hit the Alabama coast, Gerald and Mildred sold their home and moved to Pontotoc, where they became members of First Baptist. In Pontotoc, Gerald received honor for having been a POW, for which he was grateful. His family honors his service as well. They cherish most, though, his love, which he often showed in the simplest acts like singing made-up songs while driving down the road, his granddaughters beside him. His song sings on. Gerald is survived by his wife of 77 years, Mildred Kidd; daughter, Sandy Kelley; son, Gary Kidd(Judy); granddaughters, Treny Emison(Barry) and Tish Kelley; great-grandchildren, Megan Guntharp(Cody Huff), Scott Emison(Mallory), and Kyle Emison(Jessica); and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Lessie Dowdy; infant brother, Marshall Kidd; sister, Judy Walsh; and brother, John L. "Bennie" Kidd. A private funeral service will be held at Tutor Memorial Funeral Home in Pontotoc with Dr. Ken Hester officiating. Burial will be in Shady Grove Cemetery. Tutor Memorial Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of arrangements. Pallbearers will be Kevin Campbell, Brad Elkins, Barry Emison, Jeff Dowdy, Kenny Dowdy, and Tim Walsh. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 31 West Washington Street, Pontotoc, MS 38863 or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105.
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