A Niceville Legacy: Jerry Colquitt

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By Lori Smith

Jerry Lamar Colquitt passed away peacefully in June at age 77, transitioning to eternal life. And though Jerry might not physically be on this earth anymore, he left behind a profound legacy of love, faith, dedication and service.

Jerry Colquitt of Niceville, FLMany locals knew him as head baseball coach and an assistant football coach of Niceville High School (NHS). “Anyone and everyone that went through NHS from 1979-2000 generally knew him well,” said his son, Jason Colquitt. For nearly 30 years at Niceville High School, he passionately served, promoted and cared for his Eagle students and families. Even after retirement, he remained a steadfast supporter of his beloved Eagles, earning him the affectionate title of “Coach” throughout the Niceville community.

Jerry was born in Brantley, Ala., but moved to Niceville in 1979. “We lived in the 27th house built in Bluewater Bay which, at the time, the people in Niceville thought we were crazy for building so far out,” said Jason. “That house has been home for my mom and dad for more than 40 years.”

Jerry’s legacy includes military service which began in 1967 with two tours in Vietnam. As a purple heart recipient and lifelong patriot, he devoted himself to serving his country. It was after his military service that Jerry graduated from Troy State University and embarked on a fulfilling career in teaching and coaching.

But his profound love for his nation continued as he spent his later years supporting fellow soldiers, airmen and their families. “My dad was retired Army,” said Jason. “So, he frequented Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field and Duke Field and could be found at the BX, restaurants, gas stations or other areas handing out handwritten notes (over 5,000) to service men and women, encouraging them during the Middle East conflicts.”

A celebration of Jerry’s life was held on Friday, June 14, 2024, at Church on Bayshore in Niceville. Due to Jerry’s strong devotion to the Niceville Eagles, coupled with his profound patriotism and loyal service to our nation, attendees wore Niceville Eagles or patriotic attire to his Celebration of Life service.

Jerry’s devotion extended to the Christian family of believers at his church that he joined in 1979. The prayers and love from his Sunday School family, church congregation and pastors helped sustain him through years of health issues. His unwavering faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior ushered him from the pain of a diseased life to an eternal pain-free life in Heaven. His warmth and generosity endeared him to many, and his memory will forever be cherished by those who were fortunate enough to have known him.

The family requests any donations be made in his memory to Tunnel to Towers Foundation at (t2t.org) or Gideon’s International (https://gideons.org).