Geraldine "Gerry" Adeline French
Geraldine "Gerry" Adeline French left her earthly home to join the love of her life and her lord on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Gerry was born on March 23, 1928, outside Geddes, S.D., to Andrew and Adela (Bartekoske) Shea, the oldest of 14 children.
Gerry was united in marriage to Kenneth (Kenny) Gene French on March 17, 1955, at Peace United Church of Christ in Elkader, Iowa. Together, they had seven children, Terry (Dan) Sullivan, Dodgeville, Wis., Sharon Taylor, Arlington, Iowa, Jeanne (Mark) Mellon, Guttenberg, Iowa, Cindy (Steve) Wendl, Anamosa, Iowa, Jayme French, Manchester, Iowa, Gary (Jennifer) French, Sydney, Australia, and Merry French, Aurora, Iowa.
Gerry is survived by her seven children; grandchildren, Lisa (Ben) Stewart, Darrin (Katie) Sullivan, Kenny (Angie) Taylor, Duane Taylor, Aubrey (Josh) Dudley, Michael Mellon, Bridget (Paul) Ehrhardt, Molly Mellon, Joe (Sarah) Wendl Andy French and Christian French; 18 great-grandchildren; brother, Timothy (Arlene) Shea of Tennessee; and sisters, Joanne Whittle of Elkader, Rose (Cletus) Meyer of Dubuque, Judy Davies and Patricia Bromley of Florida and Marcy Kelly of Montana.
Those who preceded her to the kingdom of heaven include her beloved husband, Kenny; her parents; brothers, Bernard, Joseph, Frank, Norman and Martin in infancy; and sisters, Evelyn and Vernita.
Gerry lived in the Geddes and Platte, S.D., area, before moving to northeast Iowa as a teenager. She lived in Volga, where she graduated from high school, then Elkader. Gerry worked a number of jobs, including at the Elkader Plating Plant, Dean's Super Value and Peace Church. She long will be remembered for her service at Peace Church where she was a custodian, bell ringer, funeral worker and all-around helper. She was a longtime member of Peace United Church of Christ and the American Legion Auxiliary.
Gerry was a go-getter from a young age. She helped raise her younger siblings, before going on to raise her own family. Gerry sewed many of her children's clothes when they were younger, and canned vegetables from her large garden. She was a great cook, and her homemade chicken noodle soup and potato salad were favorites among her family. Gerry learned to crochet later in life and made afghans and pillows for all of her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed being outside, animals of all kinds and had a sense of adventure, taking several trips abroad, and always was willing to try something new. Family was very important to her and she was always willing to lend a helping hand to her children, grandchildren and others whenever needed. Gerry will be greatly missed by her family, and she will be lovingly remembered for the inspiration she was.
Visitation: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at Peace United Church of Christ, Elkader.
Funeral service: 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, at Peace United Church of Christ, Elkader, with the Rev. Jon Haack officiating.
Inurnment: East Side Cemetery, Elkader.
Because of COVID-19, we ask everyone to continue physical distancing and wear a mask if you plan to attend.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com.