Foster Gerrard

October 1, 1940 ~ May 11, 2015 (age 74)

Hyram Foster Gerrard passed away at home on Monday, May 11, 2015 after a long illness at the age of 74.  He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Deanna Budd Gerrard and his two daughters, sons-in-laws and four grandsons.  Leslie Lischer and husband Dr. Garrett Lischer of Knoxville, TN and Kathleen Dean and husband Matthew Dean of Stilwell, KS;  grandsons: Graham Henry Lischer, Benjamin Gerrard Lischer, Owen Foster Dean and Samuel Richard Dean.

He was born in October 1, 1940 in Cleveland, Mississippi and was the only son of Hyram and Doris Bishop Gerrard.  He went to primary and high school in Anguilla, Mississippi where his father was the Superintendent of Schools and his mother was a 2nd grade teacher. Afterward, he attended and graduated from Mississippi State University in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and further studied at the Darden School at University of Virginia.  While at “State” he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternal Order and was an avid Bulldog fan, keeping close watch on the outcomes of any sporting event from Starkville.

Foster was a devoted son, husband and father.  He was a true “Company-Man” and worked for Olin-Hunt, later Arch Corporation, for the entire 30-years of his employment.  In 2000, Deanna and Foster retired to Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia.  During his career, he had the distinct reputation as something of a “turn-around artist” for manufacturing in chemical plants.   He moved his family many places during his career, serving as Plant Manager in Doe Run, Kentucky and Beaumont, Texas.  Then to Stamford, Connecticut, where he was named Director of Manufacturing over several locations. He said that he really enjoyed his last assignment in Suzhou, China, in Jiangsu Province, where he oversaw the building of a chemical plant. He said it was “someplace you’d never expect to see a country boy from the Mississippi Delta.”    

He received many company honors and awards during his career.  He was a member of the American Chemical Association and, while in Kentucky, he was named a Kentucky Colonel, by Governor John Y. Brown.  He liked to play golf with his wife and family during his free time. Foster always played in the Mens Golf League wherever he lived and only until he became too ill, did he stop. Deanna and Foster spent a great deal of time traveling after retiring.  With good friends, they enjoyed cruising and finding great restaurants BUT his favorite time was spent visiting his “girls” at their homes.

We will remember him always for his booming laugh and gentle spirit.  He was a true “Southern Gentleman” through and through. His lilting southern drawl and kind manner will be missed beyond words.  He was a man whose life was devoted to his family and his work.

Services will be held on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church South Campus, 4741 Carey Station Road, Greensboro, GA with Pastor Merry Grayson officiating. The family requests that memorials be made to First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 216, Greensboro, GA 30642.   McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of local arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.


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