Gerald Franklin Colvin

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Gerald Franklin Colvin, 74, a native of Olla, passed from this life on October 2, 2013, in Tennessee. He was born June 9, 1939 near Jefferson, Texas, the son of William Jackson Colvin and Bernice Rowena Self Colvin. Gerald completed grades 1-7 at Olla-Standard Elementary School in Olla, and grade 8 at LaSalle High School where his classmates chose him class favorite and president. After his baptism into the Seventh-Day Adventist Church following tent meetings, he completed four years of secondary studies at Ozark Academy, where he graduated valedictorian and class president. He then received a scholarship to Southwestern Junior College, where he graduated student body president and valedictorian. Later at Union College, he was voted senior class president and awarded High Distinction with triple majors in English, History and Religion. Gerald’s initial teaching posts were at Ozark Academy (1961-66), Union College (1967-70), LaSierra College (1970-72), and Southern Adventist University, commencing in 1972 as chair of behavioral sciences. He later served as dean of graduate studies and research at Walla Walla College, as well as Assistant Dean of graduate education at Ashland University, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southwestern Adventist University, and as director of counseling services at several two-year institutions. He also completed doctorates at the University of Arkansas in administration and the University of Georgia in psychology as a Regent’s Scholar. A career high was his stint as superintendent of the Etowah K-8 Public School District. From an early age, Gerald showed an interest in writing, starting with a VFW contest for fourth graders on “Why I’m Glad to be an American.” The principal tempered Gerald’s thrill at winning by reminding everyone his was the only entry. Nevertheless, he continued as the 4-H Club reporter, later devoting a semester paper on Longfellow’s Evangeline. After considering a copy-editing post at the Pacific Press, he thought it more exciting to stick with teaching. However, he continued perfecting his craft by serving as faculty sponsor of the school paper, contributing editor to the Journal of Adventist Education, and as a member of the editorial board for American Secondary Education. His poem books include Days of Lilacs and Now Will I Sing – as well as a 34-chapter unpublished religious manuscript hiding somewhere inside his Toshiba. Finally, during select moments of exalted bliss, whether painting or writing poetry, or digesting literary masterpieces or blending gospel chords on an antiquated tube-type Hammond organ with rotating Leslie speakers, Gerald claims to have sensed the transcendent rush of angel wings. Services will be held Saturday, October 12, at Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Collegedale, Tennessee. Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Clark Elwood Colvin. Survivors include his wife, Vivian; his children, Guy and Gaye; step-children, Pamela Parker, Gary Howe, Don Howe, and Ross Howe; and grandchildren, Jason Parker, Amanda Bartlett, Nicolas Howe, Victoria Howe, Jacqueline Howe, Miranda Howe, Garrett Howe, and Paul Howe.
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