Gearldine “Geri” Henderson, daughter of S.J. and Lelah Frances Nelson Henderson born August 29, 1926 in Byers, Texas passed away on January 16, 2019 in Tahlequah, OK.
Formal education in Texas and Oklahoma with BA and Masters of Education at the University of Oklahoma, but horizon of knowledge was vastly expanded by a lifetime of extensive travels.
During her long life seven states were home, with most of the time in Oklahoma and New York. As a teacher she felt privileged to travel in all 50 states, at least 90 countries, to set foot on each of the 7 continents, and go 1 ¾ times around the world.
As a Department of the Army Civilian (DAC) she taught American children of Army personnel in Japan, Germany, and Italy an enriching 4 years’ experience in understanding cultural likenesses and differences. On life’s journey at home and abroad she found faith in God and education the major keys to peaceful and harmonious living.
1972-73 was a sabbatical year with a semester at the University of Hawaii where orchids adorned then Library’s front desk. Throughout the islands the ambience and abundance of tropical fruits, exquisite flowers, sweet fragrance of trees abloom, and enduring friendships made Hawaii a paradise on earth.
Blessings multiplied in seeing so much of God’s majestic world. Waterfalls were always a favorite. ‘Twas awesome and wonderful to have pages of the Bible and ancient history come alive in and to marvel at humankind’s ingenuity from older times to the 21st century.
Each venture was meaningful and special. Probably the most unique was 1983 expedition to Antarctica: the azure blue in immense icebergs, vast numbers of playful penguins, and ever so quietly watching the sun set, and then rise within 3 minutes. Most astounding was experiencing the confluence of southerly and northerly ocean waters. Imagine being on a southbound ship as it maintains its course in the turbulence, and then that oceanic sameness becomes north! Unforgettable.
After teaching 22 years in White Plains, New York, Geri chose early retirement, moved to Tahlequah and became an avid gardener. Surrounded by flowers she believed “One is closer to God in a garden than any place else on earth.” Thus, her big back yard and friendship garden became an outdoor sanctuary. The hours of kneeling and bowing down were times of prayers and praising our Creator. Sharing flowers with others was a source of great joy.
Her favorite quote from Abraham Lincoln was “Friends are among life’s greatest treasures”.
She is survived by her Brother, Arcie Paul Henderson and his wife, Charlene; Nephew Matt Henderson and his son, Kelly, his wife, Brooke, their son, Maddox and daughter, Everlee; her Niece, Carol and husband, Brian Austin, their son, Trevor and daughter, Kelsi.
She was a member First United Methodist Church, Tahlequah. Active in United Methodist Women’s Circle, Member Chapter FD, P.E.O and Friends in Council Study Club.
Burial in Sulphur, OK alongside her mother and daddy.
In lieu of flowers, she requests any memorial or contributions to First United Methodist Church, Tahlequah.
My dearest Aunt Geri, I have never met a more gentle soul in my whole life. I love you more than you know and I hope to be half the person you were. Thank you for watching over me and my family and keeping us safe. And thank you for being so good to my mother. You are one the most important people in her life! I love you.
Kelsi AustinDenver, CO
You will be missed Gering. You always brought light, sunshine, and a smile wherever you went.
Nannette P MorrisonMuskogee, OK
Miss Geri does not have a lot of family in this area but has a lot of friends who will miss her a whole lot.including myself.
Loy LeeTAHLEQUAH, OK