Gerald Glenn Poindexter was born on April 17, 1941, in Louisa, Virginia, the son of Roy and Geneva Poindexter. He finished high school at 16 and went on to Virginia Union University from which he graduated at age 20 in 1961. After graduating, Gerald worked for the US Department Commerce in Washington, DC and attended graduate school at Howard University studying Biology. Being in Washington DC, specifically on Howard University’s campus, in the early 60s was a pivotal time in his life. Though he grew up always thinking he wanted to be a scientist, Gerald was inspired to pursue a law degree by Civil Rights leaders, such as Oliver Hill, Thurgood Marshall and Howard University Law School Dean Charles Hamilton Houston.
In 1967, Gerald was admitted to law school at the University of Michigan, from which he graduated in 1970. In the practice of law, Gerald found a profession that allowed him to do the two things he liked and did best; advocate for the people and effect change. Upon finishing law school, he returned to Virginia where he worked one year for Legal Aid in Roanoke and then he came to Richmond where, in 1971, he became a partner in the law firm, Greene, Buxton and Poindexter, the only interracial law practice in the City of Richmond. In 1971, Gerald also married attorney Gammiel Gray, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Gerald was later named the County Attorney for Surry County in 1972, becoming the first black County attorney’s in the country. He served in that capacity for 32 years while he maintained a private law practice.
In 1995, he was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney for the county. He served in both positions with distinction and was known for his daring and fresh approach to many issues, but particularly related to civil rights. As the County Attorney, Gerald was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the Surry County Human Rights Ordinance enacted in 1973, that made it a misdemeanor to discriminate against a person based on race, sex, or religion. It is believed to be the first local ordinance of its kind passed in the South. As the Commonwealth’s Attorney, he was known for his fairness and compassionate approach. He was a Progressive Prosecutor before the term was widely used. He was known as a very smart advocate and a legal power to be reckoned with in court. He was a member of many civic and social organizations, including Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, pledging as an ungraduated at Virginia Union University; The Progressive Men’s Club of Surry County, The Richmond Guardsmen, the Epsilon Delta Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Board of Visitors of John Tyler Community College, National Bar Association and the Old Dominion Bar Association.
Gerald was man of great humility and warmth; a person of compassion and empathy, who always identified with the struggles of others. These traits, along with his formidable intellect, are what made him such an effective advocate in the courtroom, whether as prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney. He was a voracious reader with a broad spectrum of interests. Gerald was a lover of music, especially jazz, R&B, funk and eventually hip-hop. There was no bigger fan of Marvin Gaye or Prince than Gerald Poindexter!! More than anything, the thing he loved most, was the home he was able to create for his family and his community in Surry County.
Gerald has been married for more than 50 years to Gammiel Gray Poindexter, a lawyer, prosecutor, and a General District Court judge. He is the father to three sons, Eric, John, and Chris, and grandfather to six grandchildren, Lucy, Noah, Jackson, Mateo, John John and Elle. He was a special father to Leon and Dante Wright whom he loved and raised like his very own sons. He has been a father figure and role model to many young boys and girls in the Surry County community and affectionately known as Grandpa.
In addition to his wife and sons, Gerald is survived by his sister, Juanita Walker (Emanuel Walker); his Brothers in Law Dalton, James, Ernest and Emmanuel; his Sisters in Law Ernestine and Julia; his daughter in laws Tracy, Carletta and Stephanie; his nieces and nephews Desirée, Dalton, Darryl, Cheryl, James, Melinda and Lanise; and a host of cousins (Grays, Straughns and Poindexters)
A viewing and visitation will be held 5-7 PM. Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at Cypress Baptist Church 849 Runnymede Road Elberon, Va. 23846.
A Home Going Celebration will be held 11:00 AM, Thursday, December 23, 2021 at Lebanon Baptist Church 162 Lebanon Road Spring Grove, Va.23881. Interment will be in Cypress Baptist Church.
Services will be live-streamed via Lebanon Baptist Church and Poole’s Funeral Home Facebook page.
Facial coverings are required. Please keep the Poindexter family in your prayers.