Funeral services from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home were conducted Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. by Eld. Johnny Merritt and Eld. Terry Austin. Burial followed with military honors in the Dixon Springs Cemetery.
Born Gerald Thomas Dias in Riddleton on March 14, 1926, he was one of two children of the late Thomas Wilson Dias and Reedie Dillard Towns Dias.
Bro. Dias was preceded in death by a grandson, Brandon Shockley, on September 28, 1998 and by a sister, Elizabeth Dias Russell.
He was married in Nashville on December 10, 1948 to the former Peggy Woodard of the Riddleton Community. He was baptized into the full fellowship of the Maces Hill Missionary Baptist Church. He was ordained at the Maces Hill Missionary Baptist Church in 1963. At the time of his death, Bro. Dias was a member of the Dixon Springs Missionary Baptist Church.
Bro. Dias also owned and operated the Gerald Dias Construction Co. for many years and built homes, barns, and businesses in several counties.
Bro. Dias faithfully and dutifully served our country during World War II with the United States Army and was Honorably Discharged December 5, 1945 at Camp Sheridan, Illinois with the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was inducted at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia on October 20, 1944. A highly decorated veteran, he was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with one Bronze Battle Star, the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Army Occupation Medal, Germany.
Surviving in addition to his wife of over fifty eight years are three children, Tommy Dias and wife Myra of Lafayette, Dianne Massey and husband Kenneth of Tanglewood, and Marcella Wingfield and husband Jon of Lafayette; five grandchildren, Jeffrey Dias and wife Olivia of Lafayette, Steven Dias and wife Heidi of LaVergne, Jason Gibbs of Cato, Chris Massey and wife Jana of Algood, Chris Shockley and wife Darlene of Hartsville; then great-grandchildren, Austin, Lacey, and Tyler Dias, Brittney Fuqua, Ezekiel Gibbs, Isabel and Hanna Lee Massey, Callie, Crista, and Kyle Shockley.
Sanderson of Carthage in charge of arrangements.