Geraldine LaVerne Jones (Wheldon)
“The 26th of May is my Birth Day”…Gerry passed away at home in the late afternoon of January 9th with her daughter by her side.
Geraldine was born in Ventura, CA but the family soon moved to Santa Barbara where Gerry was
fortunate enough to spend the rest of her life. Gerry attended local schools: Garfield, LCJH and SBHS where she excelled in both academics and athletics and made many lifelong friendships. While at La Cumbre, she met her husband of nearly 60 years, Harold Jones, who passed away in 2011. She also shared special relationships with both her mother (Leah) and “daddy”, Elwood (Casey). She graduated from the UCSB teachers program on the Riviera and went on to become an excellent teacher. Her first position was first grade at Hope School and in 1952 she was chosen by McCall’s magazine as the First National Teacher of the Year. She and Harold traveled to Washington, D.C. where she was recognized by President Truman in the Rose Garden of the White House. In 1958, upon the birth of daughter Marcey, Gerry took a break from teaching. Gerry returned to teaching 8 years later with the opening of Monte Vista Elementary as the kindergarten teacher. She had a wonderful way with both students and parents alike. Ironically, she taught some of the children of her first grade students in kindergarten. Gerry enjoyed the sun, the beach and the surf for many years and couldn’t resist a dog. She also collected bears. After her retirement she and Harold walked most every street in Santa Barbara. World travel with special friends was also a big part of her life as well as weekly card games, a monthly lunch with cousins and a breakfast with colleagues. Gerry loved to read and even as her muscular degeneration progressed she continued to “read” through talking books (a whopping 681!)
Gerry had longtime affiliations with several sororities including Nu Phi Delta Chi and Kappa Alpha Theta. In high school she was a Queen in Job’s daughters. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
Geraldine was a thoughtful,intelligent and fun loving woman with a great sense of humor and quick wit. May she rest in peace with those she loved.
Love you. Love you more…..
An informal gathering to celebrate Gerry’s special life will be held at the Chase Palm Park Center (236 E. Cabrillo Blvd.) on Thursday,January 28th, from 3-6 pm.