DESOTO COUNTY 

Gerald (Gerry) Wayne Rister, 73, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018 as he was surrounded by his loving family. Gerald was born Jan. 24, 1945 to Ebert Gerald and Leatha Elizabeth Rister in Sikeston, MO., the younger of two children. He graduated from Kelley High School, Benton, MO., in 1963 and received a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla in 1969. Gerry and Pat began their lives together when they were born on neighboring farms in southeast Missouri.  Gerry first proposed in the second grade, and Pat accepted.  When they were twelve, Pat moved with her family to Los Angeles, Calif., and was separated from Gerry for six years.  After being reunited during one of Pat’s visits to Sikeston, they began a courtship that lasted through his final proposal, three children, and 51 years of marriage.  Gerry served in the U.S. Army Missile Command with a special technical unit at Redstone Arsenal assigned to several engineering projects including surface-to-air missile avoidance for US fighter planes, tank targeting systems and missile structural dynamics until his unit was disbanded.  For his service, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for exemplary professional, technical and personal service by identifying the source of failure of a tank tracking system and devising a test plan for solution of the highly complex problem. Prior to his time in the Army, Gerry worked for the Continental Can Company in Chicago, Ill.  Gerry was a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Alabama and Georgia, with reciprocity in the state of Mississippi.  After his honorable discharge he worked as a Test Engineer at Wiley Laboratories, as a research and development engineer at Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Ga., and Clemco in Memphis, Tenn.  He began his career at Dover Elevators, now Thyssen Krupp, in 1977.  During his long career in the elevator industry, Gerry developed, tested and oversaw the development and installation of new elevator systems from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur.  He left the Thyssen Krupp modernization group in 2011 prior to beginning his new career in retirement. Gerry was an adventurous soul who loved to laugh and spend time with his family when he wasn’t tackling a new building or repair project away from his professional life.  He was an avid camper who loved to travel.  He and his family made several cross-country trips passing through every state west of the Mississippi River with the exception of Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Washington State.  His family is very grateful for all of the good memories. Gerry is survived by his wife, Patricia (Pat); daughter, Rebecca (Becky) Palmer; sons Jason and David Rister; grandchildren, Nathan, Griffin, Reed and Annalise Rister; sister, Joan McCrory; nephews, Kevin and Jeffrey (Jeff) McCrory; niece Shamra McCrory; one uncle, two aunts and numerous cousins. Gerry was preceded in death by his parents. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 at Broadway Baptist Church.  Gerry will lie in state from noon until 1 p.m.  The funeral service will be held from 1 until 2 p.m.  Burial will follow at Memphis Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in Bartlett, Tenn. The family will greet friends from 5 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018 at Brantley Funeral Home, 6875 Cockrum Road in Olive Branch. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Broadway Baptist Church, Southaven, or The Gideons International.