Coker Cemetery Association, San Antonio, Texas

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Gerfers owned grocery store

Clarence Arthur Gerfers Sr. enjoyed running a general store that became a community gathering place for farmers and others in north Bexar County.

That store, said Gerfers' son, was on part of a land grant given to a relative who fought in the Battle of San Jacinto when Texas won its independence from Mexico.

Gerfers, who gave away groceries to those who couldn't afford them, died Saturday. He was 75.

His son, Clarence Gerfers, Jr. remembers the family store off Jones Maltsberger Road as a site where people gathered to talk, laugh and spend time.

The building, built around 1900, was typical of an old, general store that sold feed and gasoline, among other staples for country dwellers, Gerfers said.

"My mother is the great-great niece of John Harrison Coker [John Coker], who received a land grant of about 2,000 acres . . . after he fought in the Battle of San Jacinto," Gerfers said. "My parents really loved running the store, and made lots of friends out there. They were there before the airport was."

Airport expansion claimed the land in 1977. The little "general country store" that Gerfers made popular since opening it in 1946 was gone, and his father missed it, his son said.

"But, even to the end, people he met out there kept in touch and called him. He was a very generous man, and always ended up giving groceries to people who couldn't pay. That's just how he was," Gerfers said.

His father was ill during a family reunion in September in which old times and a distinctive family history tied to the land were discussed, Gerfers said.

"But he was interested and wanted to know all about it later," he said.

Gerfers is survived by his wife Edna Mae Gerfers; daughters, Peggy Blucher, of San Antonio; Connie Emmick of Dallas; and Dorothy Scyrkels of Colorado.

Also, son Clarence A. "Butch" Gerfers, Jr., of San Antonio; sisters, Elsie Walsworth and Nell Autry, both of San Antonio and Dorothy Gerfers, Stamford; twin brother, Clyde Gerfers, of Washington; and 11 grandchildren

. Services will be Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. at Coker United Methodist Church with the Rev. Gregory Robertson officiating.

Pallbearers will be [the] grandsons. Memorial contributions may be made to Coker Cemetery Association or Coker United Methodist Church. Interment is in Coker Cemetery and arrangements are with Porter Loring.

Published in the San Antonio Express-News on 04/14/1987.

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