South Florida pioneer, Gerald E. Toms, died August 14, 2011. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, the former Martha Jane Cannon, along with five children: Thomas N. Toms, II, (and wife Kimberly Toms), Margaret LaVerne Toms, Gerald E. Toms, Jr., (and wife, Maria Toms), Elizabeth Toms Brinegar (and husband, William Brinegar) and Louis Babb Toms (and wife, Sandy Toms), thirteen grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Also surviving are his sister, LaVerne Pace, and step-sister, Nancy McCarthy. His large family brought Jerry much joy. They would like to offer their appreciation to Solomon Larrimore for his years of compassionate care.
Born in Deadwood, SD, on June 8, 1922, to Thomas N. Toms and Mina Williams, Jerry arrived in south Florida in August of 1923. He was a graduate of Miami High and the University of Florida, and for his entire life remained a loyal fan of those football teams, as well as the Miami Dolphins. He was a WW II veteran, serving in the Philippines between his sophomore and junior years at university.
Along with love of family Jerry Toms had two great passions: dairy farming and badminton. He managed the Graham Farms dairy operation from 1947 until his retirement, at one time producing, processing and delivering milk and other dairy products to south Florida families. Introduced to the game of badminton as a young boy at the YMCA, he was an enthusiastic player his entire life, for years maintaining a national ranking. His love of all sports made him a supporter of the YMCA, the Hialeah Miami Lakes High School Athletic Association and the Florida Badminton Association. He leaves a badminton tournament named in his honor, the Jerry Toms Senior International.
Jerry was a Rotarian, devoting many years of service to that organization. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Hialeah Miami Lakes Rotary Club or All Angels Episcopal Church of Miami Springs.
A memorial service was held at 3 o’clock pm, Thursday, August 18, at All Angels Episcopal Church, 1801 Ludlam Drive, Miami Springs, FL 33166, with a reception to follow at 5 o’clock pm in the Grand Slam Ballroom of Don Shula’s Hotel, Main Street, Miami Lakes.