Murder Victim's Family Trying To Cope With Loss

Thursday, September 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Jerald Thurman's family is trying to continue the dreams he had for his Owasso trucking company. He died last week after he was shot on August 31st. Police believe Thurman may have been trying to help 77-year-old Mary Bowles, who was also murdered. Thurman's wife and son told the News on Six they have to keep his dreams alive in order to survive financially.

Thurman's wife Sherry says her husband always made people laugh.She says there are plenty of tears of grief, but also smiles for all the good times. The couple dreamed about expanding their Owasso trucking and excavating company that employs several family members. Mrs. Thurman says she doesn't have time to think about why her husband was killed because it's now up to her and the rest of the family to keep the business alive. "I know it is there," she said, "but I try to focus in on trying to keep things going financially for us now."

The Thurman's son, Jake, has been struggling with whether he should continue college. The 19-year-old missed several classes when his father was in intensive care. He's thought about quitting school to take over the business, but knows his father wouldn't like him dropping out. "That's what his wishes would have been," said Thurman, "to stay in school and get my education."

He knows it will be a tough climb to go to school and to work. The family expects to have hospital bills totaling more than $50,000, way beyond what insurance will cover. The younger Thurman says he's going to take a positive attitude and hopes, the good Lord will let things go as planned.

Friends and the community have pulled together for the Thurmans by paying for the funeral and setting up a family trust fund. They hope people who've heard the story of senior Thurman's death will help by contributing at the Bank of Oklahoma. "He had a big heart and someone who had a big heart like that, how you can you not want to help them," said family friend Greg Simmons.
The family says if they can keep Thurman's reputation behind the business, they will be able to keep his dreams alive. Victor Miller and George Hanson have been charged with two counts each of first-degree murder for Thurman's death and the death of Mary Bowles. They were scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.