Gerald R. Nabors
September 17, 1929 – October 31, 2018
September 17, 1929 – October 31, 2018 This is the story of Gerald Ray Nabors; Jerry to many, “Slosh,” to his closest friends, Grandpa to some, Dad to a few, and “Honey-do,” to one. For much of his life, he was a strong, independent, and imposing figure; yet also caring, resourceful, guiding, protecting, and loving. He will be missed, cherished, and always loved.
His story starts on Sept 17th, 1929, in Eastland Texas, the only child to Edgar Nabors and Ethel Todd.
A graduate of Polytechnic Highschool in Fort Worth, class of 1948. If you've quickly calculated this... You'd realize he was almost 19 years old upon graduating. This was for one reason, and one reason only, to play another year of sports. He was able to fudge his birthdate to stay another year I’m told. This only cost him about a pint of ice cream each Friday to one of his teachers. He was an avid football player, basketball player, and track & field athlete. He once mentioned track was only an option for the off-season, to stay in shape for football. He later went on to referee high school basketball games the following years.
In 1960, with nothing tying him down, he packed his bags and went to Hawaii to see his buddy Dub Graves, whom was attending school at University of Hawaii and playing football for the Warriors. We can only imagine the trouble those two got into. They shared a single room, off the side of a detached garage, in a beachfront home. Gerald worked on occasion to earn some money, then would then spend the rest of the time, enjoying island life. Mr Graves after spending a year in the sand and sun he moved back to Texas, Gerald decided to stay in Hawaii to begin a new chapter in his life.
We've heard stories of some backyard parties, luaus for the natives, where close to a hundred people showed up. He once even had the pertness in 1961 to invite President Kennedy to one of his, at this point, very popular backyard parties. Written on company letterhead on behalf of the fictitious “Fakarava Whaling Company and Fire Department.” Fakarava being an atoll in French Polynesia, basically a notch above a sand bar in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. He later received, In return, on official White House letterhead a polite decline, from the Social Secretary, that “The President and Mrs. Kennedy are unable to attend due to previous engagements.”
Gerald’s life in the Pacific was full of life, celebration, adventure, and friendships.
In the year 1966... He and a few friends sailed from Catalina Island off the coast of California to Tahiti, French Polynesia. Commercial GPS systems wouldn't be available till the late 80's; Candle light, maps, the stars above, and a sextant would guide them for near 30 days to reach their ultimate destination. Yes, they did get lost for a bit. Who knew that being off one degree can mean being over 60 miles off course? They ended up on one of the smaller islands, Raiatea.
His friends left Tahiti, and he stayed. In 1968, he met Christine, his future wife, through a friend, doing, of all things dancing. It was a few weeks later, the same friend set her up with him, on a chance encounter over breakfast. They married in Aug of 1972. That rest, they say, is history.
With the birth of their son Randall in June 1971, a move to Honolulu HI was made in late 1972. Kathleen, their first daughter was later born in June 1973 Their youngest son Mitchell in June 1979.
Gerald had a long career as a master plumber, later as a mechanical engineer for commercial properties as well as resort and hotel properties. Some of the notable properties that Gerald had worked on were Hotel Tahara, The French Governer’s swimming pool, Moorea Lagoon Resort, The Ko’olina resort on the island of Oahu, the Waikoloa Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. Today, many of these properties are still around. They have of course changed names and are owned by Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, or Disney. Dad built things to last.
In the 80’s, Gerald was often away from home, working on one of the outer Hawaiian islands on a resort or hotel, spending the week there, and coming home for the weekends; only to repeat that schedule for a year or more at a time, per project. But there was one thing he never missed when home, and that was spending time with family. He always made it an effort to take his kids to their game, if home on a weekday, drive them to practice. And we have very fond memories of all the family trips during school vacations.
Surviving are his wife Christine, eldest son Randall, daughter Kathleen, youngest son Mitchell; his eight grandchildren, Kiana Wacklin, Emma Nabors, Mia Wacklin, Brandon Nabors, Poimiti Nabors, Ethan Nabors, Charlotte Nabors, Lucas Nabors; and his great grandchild, Lori.
His extended family: Clinton Vaitu in Colorado Springs, Victor Chene in New Zealand, Felix Chene, Rose Lausin, Gerard Tairua, The Leogite Family; in Tahiti, Raiatea and Bora Bora.
A celebration of life service will be held 10:00 am on Dec 7th 2018 at The Hills Church, 6300 NW Loop 820, North Richland Hills TX. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “The City of Hurst” Senior Activity Center in memory of Gerald R. Nabors.
- Celebration of Life Friday, December 7, 2018