Thomas Jarrell “Jerry” Coody passed on to be with the Lord on December 27, 2020. Jerry was born October 3, 1931 to Richard M. and Mildred Coody in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jerry loved growing up in Tulsa and had a loving family. He often walked home for lunch from John Burroughs Elementary school to his Mother’s homemade potato soup. He and best friend, Tom Sisson, had many adventures during those early years and quite a few football games on the school playground. Jerry matured into a fine, young man and athlete and was avidly recruited from Tulsa Central High School by several colleges and universities for football scholarships, but ultimately Jerry found his home at Baylor University. From 1951-1954, Jerry Coody was a name to be revered and even feared by many on the ‘ole gridiron field. He was responsible for the infamous “butt block” and ultimately the introduction of the facemask on football helmets. His career highlights included invitations to the 1952 Orange Bowl, the East-West game, the Hula Bowl and the college All-Star game. Jerry was a two time All-American and was later inducted into the Baylor Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Jerry often commented that football taught him most about life. He said that what we do with our greatest challenges make us what we are as people. He never lied down after getting hit in life and always had a positive attitude, just waiting on the next play to be called. He was enthusiastic about life and whatever he was doing.
Jerry spent his adult professional career as a high school teacher. He taught in Tyler, Texas from 1963-1966 and in Waco at University High School and Jefferson High School from 1971-1989. He taught World History, American History, and English.
Jerry was an ardent student of the scriptures and practiced prayer and meditation for over 50 years. This spiritual focus and practice was the core of his life. Even to the end of his earthly life, he maintained a friendly, positive, sweet demeanor – slow to anger, quick to forgive and never judgmental. One of his favorite sayings was “people are wonderful….if you give them a chance”.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents Richard M. and Mildred Coody, his wife Leta Coody, and his sister, Jane Boren. He is survived by his brother, Brad Coody (Jan), his children Robin Cook (Wyndham), Tim Coody (Laura), Chris Coody (Donna), Bret Coody, and Lyska Emerson (Rick), and eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Services will be held Saturday, January 9 at Christ Church, 1008 Jefferson Ave, Waco, Texas, at 1 pm, followed by Graveside service and interment at Oakwood Cemetery, 2124 S 5th St, Waco, Texas.
Brown Owens & Brumley Family Funeral Home
425 S. Henderson St.