Date of birth: 20 May 1950
Date of death: 10 Oct 2021
Jerry Bythel Read
May 20, 1950 - October 10, 2021
Gulfport, Mississippi - Jerry Bythel Read, age 71 of Gulfport, MS, passed away peacefully at St. Joseph's Hospice on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
Mr. Read, a native of Durant, MS, was a longtime resident of the coast. He was of the Methodist faith.
He was an Eagle Scout in high school. Later, he donated the pipe organ to the United Methodist Church in Lexington, in memory of Jewel and Jerry Garret.
Jerry was a loving husband, brother, uncle, and friend.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Emily Read; and by his father Cyrus "Buster" Read.
Jerry is survived by his wife of twenty-three years, Daisy Karam-Read; his sister, Mary Lue Friley; his niece, Rebecca Friley Bergeron; his great nieces, Finley and Whitney Bergeron; and his nephew, Patrick Friley.
He attended Louisiana State University, where he received his B.S. in 1972. He was forever a Tigers' fan.
With a relentless work ethic, he began, at the age of sixteen, to work every summer selling dictionaries door to door, for Southwestern Publishing, driving through parts of rural America he had never before seen. He quickly became a leader in the field and continued selling every summer until he was twenty-two. He made lifelong friends who worked alongside him. The money he earned made it possible for him to pay for his law school education. He received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Mississippi class of 1977.
After serving as a law clerk for United States District Judge William Keady and having clerked for the United States District Judge of the U.S. Canal Zone in Panama, Jerry joined the law firm of Lake, Tindall, Hunger and Thackston in Greenville. He had enjoyed his two years in Panama greatly but working in Greenville and trying lawsuits with Frank Hunger was a wonderful experience and was the start of a great and long-lasting friendship between the two men.
After years of practicing Personal Injury law, Jerry took one year off to attend Tulane University where he studied Maritime Law. He earned his LL.M in Admiralty with distinction.
In 1990, Jerry moved to the Gulf Coast and shared office space with Paul Benton. In 2002, Jerry closed his law practice. As a sole practitioner, he could not imagine working for anyone else, but when Judge L.T. Senter--who was first appointed as a federal judge in 1979 by President Carter--- asked Jerry if he would consider working for him as a law clerk, Jerry accepted with alacrity. He had worked for Judge Senter when he was a young man, and greatly admired his intellect and ethics. Tired of the stress of practicing law, he looked forward to working with a judge for whom he had the greatest respect.
It was a good decision. Judge Senter described Jerry as "my law partner." They worked on hundreds of lawsuits filed as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and after five years, they closed 1,421 cases relating to the tragic hurricane.
A visitation will be held from 12:00 PM until the funeral service at 1:00 PM, Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at First United Methodist Church, Gulfport.
Riemann Family Funeral Home, Gulfport, is serving the family. An online obituary may be viewed and memories shared at www.riemannfamily.com .
Published by The Sun Herald on Oct. 20, 2021.
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