ELKHART — Thomas Bautista Jerez, 64, died Friday afternoon at Elkhart General Hospital. He had been in declining health.
He was born Dec. 29, 1948, in Brownsville, Texas, to Maria Guadalupe Bautista. She died May 5, 2000.
Surviving are two daughters, Holly Noelle and Cheryl Nadine Jerez, both of Elkhart; two sons, Thomas B. Jr., Goshen, and Joshua Thomas, Elkhart; a stepson, H. Eugene Miller, Goshen; a granddaughter, Gabriella Noelle; a grandson, Xaidyn Matthew Thomas; three sisters, Maria Perales, Goshen, Blanca Verastigue, Tampico, Mexico, and Minerva Martinez, Goshen; and a brother, Vidal (Collene) Machuca, Goshen.
An area resident since 1965, Thomas was a U.S. Marine who served in the Republic of South Vietnam. As a welder, he worked for many area manufacturers including Pine Manor, Goshen; Sylvan Manufacturing, New Paris; Universal Co-Op, Goshen; and Mor-Ryde, Elkhart, before retiring in 2011.
Mr. Jerez was very mechanically inclined and enjoyed working on automobiles, and was an avid CB technician. Once his mind was set, his goal would be accomplished. His greatest goal was that of a loving father and grandfather, in which he succeeded greatly.
Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday prior to the 10:30 a.m. funeral service at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen. Rev. Scott Miller of Pathway Assembly of God Church, Middlebury, will officiate.
Burial will follow at Violett Cemetery with military honors provided by the Goshen Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Pathway Assembly of God Church, for the benefit of the family.
Online condolences may be shared at www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.