Gerald Lloyd Sickler was born on August 27, 1936, in Los Angeles, California, his father, Gerald, was 32 and his mother, Ruth, was 26. Gerry married Laura Lynne Sickler in 1959, and he has two sons from the marriage, Gerald Sickler, Jr. of Acton, CA and Brien Sickler, married to Judy of Mena AR. He married Cynthia (Cindy) in October 1987. He had two bonus children, Wendy Scott, married to William Scott of Mena and Jason Holiday, married to Jessica of Salina, KS. He has 12 Grandchildren, 21 Great Grandchildren, whom he loves greatly. He died on August 26, 2020, in Mena, Arkansas, at the age of 83 and 364 days.
This is a man that left the Army as a SP3, had a 21 year career in the LA Sheriffs dept, and while doing that worked as a cement truck driver (even delivered cement to the Thatcher Glass site when they were building it) and stock clerk at Thrifty Mart all at the same time to provide for his family. He became a real estate agent, then a broker (still while working for the Sheriff's dept). He worked very hard, and was very successful. In 1974, Gerry and Lynne bought 30 acres in Acton, Ca, put a single wide mobile home on it, and lived in that while they built the house. The family worked hard building that property up, planting a garden, numerous fruit trees, irrigation systems, and he even researched and designed the water system to achieve 40 psi at the house. Brien and Gary have lots of memories working by their Dads side while he taught them things like plating trees, gluing and installing pvc, assembling cast iron piping, planting the garden, building sheds, and stuff. He was almost always doing something. Gerry loved being productive.
He medically retired from the Los Angeles Sheriff Department in 1982. He then pursued owning a Real Estate Brokerage firm full time. After Gerry and Cindy married in 1987 they found a home in Big Bear Ca, and bought it. Moved Gerry's Mom, Ruth, in with them until she had a debilitating stroke and was placed in a nursing home. Wherever Gerry moved he moved his mother close by. He was very devoted to his Mother. For a while he worked at a ski resort, first parking cars (wasn't real keen on that at first, but he did it to provide), then driving the shuttle (even got to drive the loader clearing the parking lots once in a while (was like a kid with a big tonka toy), then was given the opportunity to be on the Ski Patrol. Oh he loved that. Got to ski while helping people.
In due course Gerry embarked on a quest for living a Spiritual unfolding life which guided him to become a minister for Unity. It took a couple of tries, but he got accepted, and became a very successful and loved Pulpit and Transitional Minister. He and Cindy traveled all over the world helping, and spreading the word of God. He cherished helping others. It was his passion, and it showed. After Brien and his wife, Judy had moved to Mena, he and Cindy decided they really liked this little town and decided to look at property. They came across 30 acres and fell in love with it. They picked a sight for the home over looking the pond. He loved it. He would go down and feed the ducks, geese, and fish. He was in heaven. Upon retiring from ministry, they opened up Ouachita Mountain Recovery, a non profit organization for men and women who needed a place to start a new life. Gerry also opened, Hand to Hand Foundation and Mena Freight a store to provide commodities to low income people and families in the community. He was at his best on the days when he could give away food and other things to the community. He helped so many people and families by providing food and other necessary essentials. Even today people still ask Brien if he still has that shop.
Gerry was an active volunteer in churches and civic organizations in the local community where ever he lived. He was an active volunteer at Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center in Oklahoma. He served as Volunteer Chaplain for the last 5 years and had received various Certificates of Accomplishments from the Department of Corrections of the State of Oklahoma. He was always about being of service to Gods kids in what ever capacity he could be.
In the last years Gerry and Cindy were able to acquire the remaining 10 acres of the original 40 acres. In downsizing they sold the big house and moved into a little house. He liked it better. It is smaller and homey. He loved working on the tractors cutting the fields, and grading the driveways, and whatever else needed to be done. He just like working outside.
He never met a stranger. Brien stated that, I can't say he liked everyone, or that everyone liked him, but for the most part, he was loved by all that did like him. He would give you the shirt off his back. I don't think I have ever known, or will know a more selfless man. If he had something you needed, and could afford to give it to you, it was yours, no questions asked, but he always said don't give something you can't afford to, and give without expectations. Give free and clear.
He will be missed by those who knew him and most especially by his family, who loved him deeply and greatly.
9-9-20 10:02 a.m. KAWX.ORG