FLORENCE — According to the Holy Bible, “Faith is the belief in things not seen.” Believing this and being a life-long Christian, Heaven’s Gate opened for Jerry J. Danley on Sunday, November 15, 2020.
Mr. Danley, born Sunday, March 2, 1941 in Florence, Alabama rode this planet on its journey around the sun 79 times, and for the most part, it was a wonderful ride.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at North Wood United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. with Scott Coats officiating. Concluding the service Mr. Danley’s cremains will be inurned in the columbarium of the Prayer Garden, located adjacent to the church sanctuary. A reception for family, friends and guest will be held immediately following in the Fellowship Hall.
Mr. Danley was a life-long member of North Wood, a faithful and involved servant who worked in many capacities of the church. He was most proud of his tenure on the Long Range Planning Committee, whereas chairperson, he was a leader in the establishment and building of the Prayer Garden.
Jerry was the ninth child born to Mamie Flynt and Elmer C. Danley. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Elmer, Bill, Charles, Alfred, Bob and Jim; sisters, Dorothy Nale and Mary Gann. He is survived by a host of nieces and nephews, their progeny, friends, and the many students he taught during a thirty four year career in education.
He appreciated the life-long closeness of his family, relatives and friends. Jerry always shared their interests and encouraged them in their education, careers, and lives.
Growing up on Cypress Mill Road, which at the time was on the northern edge of the city, Jerry fondly recalled pastures, woods, and dirt roads. These led to Cypress Creek and the metal and stone remains of the old Civil War textile mill for which the street was named. Nearby Jackson Road led to the Forks of Cypress Plantation, a few miles north of Florence, where it was said noises from the Battle of Shiloh were heard in 1862.
Proximity and the fact that WWII was raging and everyone read the daily newspaper, bought Life magazine at the North Florence Drug Store weekly, and listened to war news nightly on the radio was enough to forever inspire a boy’s interest in history, geography, and current events.
Hunting squirrel and rabbits with his older brothers, riding his bike to Wildwood Park with friends, to swim, fish, and dangerously climb the blue cliffs bordering the creek were fun. And attending the Saturday double feature at the Norwood Theater and just learning at Gilbert School all made for a great time growing up.
Jerry attended Gilbert Elementary, Florence, Jr. High, and his beloved Coffee High School where he was offered an excellent education, lettered in football and track, and was elected “Mr. Coffee High” in 1959. He earned a B.S. degree at Florence State University (UNA), a Master’s degree and an Education Specialist’s degree from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Mr. Danley also held a Master’s certification in Administration and served a summer internship at Neuropsychiatric School of UCLA.
During his education career he taught at Cloverdale, Muscle Shoals, Colbert Heights, and Sheffield. He served as Director of Genesis School, an alternative school program for Colbert and Lauderdale Counties. He was also a published author having written a science workbook, and published professional articles.
Jerry appreciated life, people, and all aspects of nature. And his soul ran deep. He recognized the beauty of the earth and found something of value and interest in every place he traveled. His knowledge of history was vast, and he was ever mindful of the past and his connection to it.
He loved literature and science, both reading and teaching them. This is reflected in the children’s books that he wrote and published during his retirement years.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made in Jerry’s honor to North Wood UMC Prayer Garden, 1129 Willis Ave. Florence, AL 35630, or to the charity of your choice.
An online guest book may be signed at greenviewmemorial.com.