Charles Gerald “Jerry” Dildy, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend passed away in the early morning hours of May 20, 2023, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Jerry was born in Biloxi, Mississippi on November 13, 1933, to the late Clell Andrew Dildy Sr. and Rita Fayard Dildy. Jerry left high school at Notre Dame in Biloxi, Mississippi just prior to his junior year. Ready to begin a life of adventure and service, he joined the Naval Seabees where he served from Morocco to Cuba. Two years into his service, he returned home to help his family. He went on to finalize his high school career at Biloxi High School in 1956 and joined the Mississippi National Guard. He served in 138th Transportation Battalion, 1355th S&S Company, and the 135th S&S BN Company for a combined total of 40 years. He was trained as a professional mechanic and oversaw the maintenance of the amphibious LARC vehicles. Jerry was awarded the Soldier’s Medal in 1969 for heroics during Hurricane Camille. After retiring from the National Guard, Jerry captained boats for the Gulf Coast Marine Education Center and served as Harbor Master of the Ocean Springs Small Craft Harbor. He also operated one of his boats as a commercial shrimper and designed and built a Turtle Excluder Device (TED) to help protect endangered Sea Turtles. Jerry had a large collection of antique motorcycles, scooters, and Model T’s that he restored. He raced several of his bikes in the Antique Street Bike Races in Daytona, Florida. He has been a member of Cruisin the Coast from its inception and a longtime member of the Antique Auto and Engine Club of Mississippi.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Clell Andrew Dildy Sr. and Rita Fayard Dildy; his brother, Clell Andrew Dildy Jr.; and his grandson, Tanner Charles Fountain.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judith “Judy” Dildy; his daughter, Leslie Beaugez (Keith); his grandchildren, Claire Huxford (Kyle), Harrison Fountain (Chelsii), Jacqueline Beaugez, Meghan Zahn (Troy), and Rachel Bentz (Sean); and his great-grandchildren, Hadley Fountain, Roman Fountain, Mason Foltz, Grace Foltz, Alice Foltz, and Marley Schaffer.
Visitation will be held Monday, June 5, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:30 a.m. After mass, internment will be held at Biloxi National Cemetery, Mississippi at 1:30 p.m.