Cover photo for Gerald Francis Bourgeois's Obituary
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1935 Gerald 2023

Gerald Francis Bourgeois

January 29, 1935 — November 22, 2023

Clinton

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Gerald “Jerry” Bourgeois, age 88, passed away on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, in Clinton, MS. They say, “It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years!”, and Jerry was blessed, he had both.

Jerry was born in Darrow, LA on January 29, 1935, to Camille Antoine and Hilda Mire Bourgeois. He graduated from St. Aloysious High School, New Orleans, LA in 1953. He continued his scholarly pursuits at Tulane University, graduating in 1957, and within a week of graduation, he married Carole Ann Finnorn, on June 8, 1957. In December 1957, Jerry entered Navigator Training in the United States Air Force. This was a very good year! Together they traveled the world, going wherever the Air Force called him to duty during his storied 28-year career. Retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1985, Jerry and Carole settled down in Ocean Springs, MS. He taught at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. During this tenure, he taught fall and spring semesters, embracing the summers, traveling the world with Carole. They were Road Scholars! Jerry loved to tell a joke, hear a joke, and enjoyed a good belly laugh. His credo was to always leave them with a joke and a smile. He was a prankster and loved to pull a good prank. Jerry loved his faith, family, friends, football, golf and throwing a good party. He was a devoted parishioner at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Ocean Springs, MS and was president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society for 10 years helping many families on the coast.

Jerry was preceded in death his parents, Camille Antoine and Hilda Mire Bourgeois; brothers, William (Claire) Bourgeois and Eugene (Gladys) Bourgeois; sister, Marie (Richard) Norton; and brothers-in-law, Anthony “Tony” Giovenco, William S. (Patricia) Gaudin, and Frank (Helen) Finnorn; and parents-in-law, William Joseph and Anna (Hebert) Finnorn.

He is survived by his lovely wife of 66 years, Carole (Finnorn) Bourgeois; four children, Yvette (Mario) DeSanctis, Suzanne (Ed) Milam, Gerald "Jay" (Renae) Bourgeois, II, and David (Elise) Bourgeois; grandchildren, Mario (Justine) DeSanctis, Jr., Caroline DeSanctis, Enrico DeSanctis, Regina (Matt) Meyers, Katy Milam, Sarah Milam, Whitney (Luke) Donovan, Lindsey Bourgeois, Sydney Bourgeois, Collin Bourgeois, Gavin Bourgeois, and Marie Bourgeois; great-grandchildren, Mia DeSanctis, Antonio DeSanctis, Marley Jo Schwartz, Matthieu Bourgeois; and sister, Carolyn Giovenco.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, the Parkinson's Foundation, or your favorite charity. 

A private service will be held on Monday, November 27, 2023. Jerry’s 28 years of devoted service in the USAF will be celebrated at 2:30 PM on Thursday, November 30, 2023, at Biloxi National Cemetery.

Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family and friends of Gerald “Jerry” Bourgeois.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gerald Francis Bourgeois, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, November 30, 2023

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

Biloxi National Cemetery

400 Veterans Ave., Biloxi, MS 39531

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