|Birth: ||Apr. 14, 1930|
|Death: ||Feb. 10, 1995|
HAMRA Gerald Farris (Jerry), beloved husband and father, died Friday, Feb. 10, 1995. Though most people knew Mr. Hamra as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wendy's of Little Rock, Inc., the children of Arkansas and those who are their advocates knew him best as a friend and supporter.
Perhaps much of his extensive charitable work benefited children because Mr. Hamra, who contracted polio at age six, understood how terrible childhood illness can be. Mr. Hamra served on the board of Arkansas Children's Hospital, which has been one of the largest beneficiaries of his philanthropy. In 1985, the hospital honored his longtime generosity and friendship by naming its new rehabilitation center after him. He recently cited the dedication of the therapeutic pool at the Gerald F. Hamra Rehabilitation Center at Arkansas Children's Hospital in 1987 as one of the happiest days of his life.
Mr. Hamra was the Chairman of March of Dimes Walk America in 1994. March of Dimes Citizen of the Year in 1992, he was also a longtime member of that organization's board of trustees. The boards which benefited from Mr. Hamra's leadership include the Arkansas Chapter of Arthritis Foundation, the Salvation Army, the Florence Crittenton Home and the Arkansas Cancer Research Center.
He had also previously served on the boards of the Arkansas Heart Association, the Greater Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Arkansas Arts Center, the Sales and Marketing Executives Association and The University of the Ozarks in Clarksville.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Mary (Samara) Hamra; his children, Jeri Lynn, Laura Victoria and Gerald Ryan; his mother, Victoria Hamra of Memphis; one brother, Sam F. Hamra, Jr. of Springfield, Missouri; two sisters, Joan Hamra of Fulton, Kentucky and Marilyn White of Memphis. He was preceded in death by his father, Sam Farris Hamra.
Mr. Hamra was a member of the St. James United Methodist Church.
To Mr. Hamra, the more than 1,500 employees who worked in Wendy's stores throughout Arkansas were also his extended family. He opened his first Wendy's in North Little Rock in 1975, his newest store, the 33rd, opened in January inside the Benton Wal-Mart Store. His success was built on this philosophy, "I never forget who I am. My priorities are people. I'm a people person and a salesman. The customer is always number one. " Mr. Hamra has won every honor possible for a Wendy's franchise including receipt of the highest honor bestowed by Wendy's International, induction into the Wendy's Hall of Fame. He was the only Wendy's franchisee to win the annual Wendy Award three times.
It is given to the top four franchisees in the Wendy's International System. He also won the Wendy's International Diamond Award for Marketing in 1993 and 1994. In addition, Mr. Hamra was the first franchisee to win the prestigious Wendy's International Founder's Award which cited Mr. Hamra's franchise operation as "a lesson in quality and management - a prototype for others to emulate. " In 1992, his Wendy's franchise was chosen as an Arkansas Business of the Year by Arkansas Business. Wendy's of Little Rock was also recognized as Business of the Year for North Little Rock in 1987.
Mr. Hamra was recognized worldwide by the Wendy's International organization as one of its hardest-working and most successful franchisees. But in Arkansas, he was known as a man who placed service to others at the top of his list.
He will be greatly missed by the many whose hearts he touched and by those whose lives, through his philanthropy, were made more full.
Funeral services for Mr. Hamra, 64, a native of Steele, Missouri, were 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 13 at St. James United Methodist Church, Little Rock with interment at the Forest Hills Cemetery.
Eulogies were given by Father George Tribou of Little Rock, Mike Massad of Dallas, Sam Hilburn of Little Rock and Jim Near of Dublin, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Arkansas Children's Hospital or the Arkansas Cancer Research Center. Arrangements by Griffin Leggett Healey and Roth, Little Rock, Ar. (From the Daily Oklahoman)
Sam Farris Hamra (1898 - 1974)
Victoria A Homra Hamra (1908 - 2004)
Forest Hills Memorial Park
Created by: Robert Sandlin
Record added: Sep 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77023960
To a great friend of the family. Rest in Peace.|
Added: Dec. 25, 2013