Cover photo for Jerry Grider's Obituary
1941 Jerry 2024

Jerry Grider

December 13, 1941 — May 14, 2024


 Jerry Frank Grider of Abilene, Texas, passed peacefully on May 14, 2024, at the age of 82 at Hendrick Hospice Care in Abilene. His “Celebration of Life” service will be held on June 15 at 1:00 pm at Hamil Family Funeral Home at 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.

Jerry’s daughter, Misti said “My favorite memory of Dad is how much he loved his friends, and how much they loved him. He had a way of making each person feel so special.” Jerry’s son Lance added, “One of the things people loved about my Dad was his world-class storytelling” (sometimes sprinkled with a few tall tales!).”

Jerry was an avid fisherman. “He taught us how to fish and camp, to enjoy nature and the outdoors,” said his son Lance. His daughter Christi fondly remembers this fish story: “One day Dad took me to a fishing hole, and I out fished him 13-0! He said, ‘Aww, you were just lucky,’ then he went home and called his neighbors, to brag about the whopping mess of bass I caught and invited them all to a fish fry!”

“One of my favorite memories of my dad,” said Lance, “was his dedication to our Cooper Cougar baseball team. He never missed any of my baseball games in the late 1980s. He charted every one of my pitches at the state championship game in 1988. I can still see him standing with my pitching coach Bill Gilbreth at the third base line during the game. What a great memory!”

Chris shares, “Jerry was a metal detector enthusiast, had a mischievous spirit and loved sharing tales of his discoveries.” He recalls, “Jerry sent me out with Duncan and Esmée to try our luck at a nearby state park, knowing it was illegal to metal detect there. We were promptly stopped by a park ranger who recognized Jerry’s name and we realized we had been tricked!” Adding, “Jerry laughed so hard hearing our story when we returned.”

“Jerry delighted everyone with his sense of humor and love for adventure”, Christina shares. “He once turned a frigid, snowy Easter into a hunt for the Easter Bunny! Determined to continue the festivities despite the weather, he drove us around on his golf cart for an hour, weaving tales and pointing out where ‘the bunny was hopping.’ By the end, our faces were frozen, but we were all convinced we’d seen the Easter Bunny!” Christina adds, ‘his playful nature was contagious!”

Jerry Grider was born in Mount Carmel, IL in 1941. He attended school in San Angelo, TX. His family then moved from San Angelo to Abilene in 1959, where Jerry attended Abilene High School. At AHS he was senior class favorite, excelled as a hurdler in track, and sprinted to many football touchdowns for the Eagles. In 1961, he joined the National Guard. He married Sandy Davis in 1965, and together they had a son and a beautiful set of twin girls. He attended Cisco Junior College, then attended the University of North Texas and earned a Bachelor’s in Physical Education and a Master’s in Education and Kinesiology. Jerry coached football in Beeville, TX and Big Spring, TX for several years; he then worked for NALCO Chemical Company for the next twenty years. He married Betty Barnes, the love of his life, in 1993 and they were happily married for thirty years.  In 1997, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and for the next twenty-seven years he fought a valiant battle against the disease. Despite this issue, he delighted in volunteering for the Ben Richey Boys’ Ranch for nearly 40 years of his life and the ECCA Fire Department. His dedication to “the Boys”, and his community, was honored with many awards and recognition for his service. One of Jerry’s early memories was walking the aisle of a Baptist Church with his brother Larry. Later in life, his daughter Christi led him in the “sinner’s prayer” to receive Christ. Jerry was deeply loved by all that knew him and touched lives near and far.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Margaret Grider and his brother, Larry Grider and wife Sandra. He is survived by his devoted wife Betty and her two children, Christopher Barnes and wife Celeste, and Christina Barnes and husband Ruairidh Campbell. Jerry is also survived by his children Lance Grider, Misti Grider Webb and husband Glen Webb, and Christi Grider and wife Tina Cannon. He is further survived by his three sisters, Jan McBride, Sandra Black and husband Mike Black, Judy Pasek and husband John Pasek. He has four amazing grandchildren, William and Ella Webb and Duncan and Esmée Campbell, nieces and nephews and many lifelong friends.

Memorials may be given to Hendrick Hospice Care at

 or to  Ben Richey Boys’ Ranch at

Jerry’s family wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Victor Hirsch, Dr. Vega, Dr. Farrell, Dr. Edwards and their staff, the special nurses and staff and his close friends for their love and unwavering support.

A “Celebration of Life” Service will be held on June 15 from 1:00-3:00pm at Hamil Family Funeral Home at 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene, Texas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Grider, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 15, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

The Hamil Family Funeral Home

6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, TX 79606

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