Geraldine (Jerry) Bernice Thompson, age 89, of Bella Vista, AR, passed away surrounded by her family Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at Lakeside Healthcare Center in Dassel.
There will be a celebration of her life Monday, Nov. 19 at Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, with a time of visitation from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a service, with Pastor Matt Miklasz officiating. Interment will be at Dassel Community Cemetery, following the service.
Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.
Geraldine “Jerry” Bernice Thompson was born May 3, 1929, in Wood River, IL, to Everett Delmer and Maxine Roe (McKinney) Rich. She attended Wood River Hartford Elementary School, Lewis and Clark Jr. High, and Wood River High School, where she was crowned Harvest Queen in her graduating year of 1946.
Jerry worked as a secretary and a sales clerk for short periods, but her longest tenure was as a medical assistant at Rice Clinic in Stevens Point, WI.
Jerry and Dale Thompson were married Sept. 16, 1950, at First Baptist Church in Wood River, IL, where they resided for a short time before moving to Saint Louis, MO. There, they purchased their first home and began their family.
They also lived in Bloomington, MN, and Stevens Point, WI, and then, in 1987, retired to Bella Vista, AR, where they enjoyed many years together.
Jerry enjoyed playing games with family and friends. Some of her favorites were Scrabble, Mexican Train, Joker, and Dominoes; and she tried not to miss the cryptoquip and crossword puzzle in the daily paper. She and Dale would often be found over a card table, trying to find those last few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
Avid tennis fans who enjoyed both to watch and play, Jerry and Dale would pursue matches with their children and spouses, whenever the opportunity presented itself. Jerry also took an interest in golf in her retirement years in Bella Vista, where she and Dale spent a great deal of time improving their game.
Crochet and knitting were other favorite pastimes of Jerry as the grand babies needed cozy blankets and booties. She made precious Christmas stockings and other knitted items for each and every one of her children and early grandchildren. They were priceless gifts.
Jerry was also an exceptional cook and hostess for entertaining. So many special holidays, birthdays, and graduations were made spectacular by fantastic food and gracious generosity. It was not uncommon at all for even the grandchildren to ask Grandma for one of her famous recipes.
Jerry was baptized in the First Church of Christ (Christian) in Wood River, IL, and was a member of the Village Baptist Church in Bella Vista, AR until the time of her death. She was always an active member of her church. She was faithful to her beliefs, not only in word, but in deed; and attended church regularly, participating in Bible study and women’s groups. She was often the greeter, and did so with a warm smile and an enthusiastic welcome.
Jerry is survived by her husband, Dale; and children Gary of Bella Vista, AR, Gail (Tom) Ganser of Dassel, Greg (Dawn) Thompson of Parker, CO; and Gwen (Daryl) Morey of Stevens Point, WI; and 12 grandchildren: Brittany Thompson of Florida; Angela (Mark) Caine of Corinth, TX; Jeff and (Stephanie) Ganser of Rosemount, Carolyn and (Seth) Baso of Maple Grove, Bethany Ganser of Buffalo, Cole (Alix) Thompson Castle Rock, CO, Christopher (Karen) Thompson; Dale (Kaitlyn) Thompson, both of Parker, CO; Brock, Danielle, Micah and Clayton Morey, all of Stevens Point, WI.
She is further survived by 16 great-grandchildren: Madison Thompson of Port Saint Lucie, FL, Drake, Braeden, Micah, Tate, Gavin, and Brekkin Caine of Corinth, TX; Layton Thompson of Castle Rock, CO, Jackson, Carter, Griffin and Sawyer Ganser of Rosemount; and Elin, Anna, Owen, and Esme Baso of Maple Grove.
In addition, Jerry is also survived by sisters Doris Stone of Alton, IL, and Janet Sue (Terry) Primas of Duke, MO; as well as one brother, David Joe (Linda) Rich of Bethalto, IL.
Jerry was preceded in death by her parents, Everett Delmer and Maxine Roe (McKinney) Rich; sister Shirley (Bill) Wiemers, of Dorsey, IL; two brothers, Franklin “R.B.” (Patty) Rich; and Frank “Bub” (Joan) Rich, all of Alton, IL; and a grandson, Tyler Thompson of Port Saint Lucie, FL