On June 6, 2005, Gerald Pye passed on from this world to his eternal home. Gerri Pye, his loving wife, was by his side when he passed at 8:30 a.m. The funeral services were held at Macon Memorial Chapel on June 9. We will all miss this very dedicated charter member of the Georgia Council of the Blind.
Gerald was born Jan. 3, 1929 to Grady Clifford and Dora Bertha Bellflower Pye. He was a member of Log Cabin Baptist Church as well as a Sunday school teacher. Gerri and Gerald were classmates at the Georgia Academy for the Blind. They graduated in 1948.
Gerri and Gerald were present at the 1956 meeting held in Macon, Ga. to organize the Georgia Council of the Blind. Both became charter members of GCB. He served as president of his local chapter, chaired the finance committee and constitution and bylaws committee, and held many other crucial leadership roles for 49 years. The Pyes attended every national convention as long as their health permitted. In fact, Gerald and Gerri attended last year's convention in Birmingham.
Gerald was a charter member of the American Council of the Blind and has been active in the organized blind movement since the mid-1950s. He and Geraldine provided key historical documents in the preparation of the ACB history regarding Georgia, its people, and their involvement in the creation of ACB. Throughout his life, Gerald played an extremely valuable role in state and national affairs as well.
Gerald was a member of the Mayor's Commission for the Visually Impaired. In 2001, he received the first Mary Johnson Award from the Georgia Council of the Blind. A year later, he received the Citizen of the Year Award from DOL-Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He also received the Gerald Pye Award from the Georgia Council of the Blind in 2002 for his outstanding service to the blind and visually impaired. He was a member of the Chit Chat Club, the Alumni Association of the Georgia Academy for the Blind, and a past member of the Southside Lions Club.
Gerald worked at Warner-Robbins Air Force Base for many years. He believed in the independence and self-sufficiency of individuals who are blind and visually impaired. His personal beliefs were reflected in his desire to see all individuals with vision loss have the opportunity to support themselves and their families by gainful employment. He was always supportive of his devoted wife who served for many years as a school teacher at the Georgia Academy for the Blind. Gerald Pye was an encourager to everyone who knew him, especially new members of the Georgia Council. Gerald is survived by three sons, seven grandchildren and eight great- grandchildren.
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