Geraldine "Gerri" Ramona Mumford
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” - Thomas Campbell
On May 6, 1938, a beautiful baby girl was born to Lucille (Thomason) Minyard and Garland Minyard in a little house by the Canadian River in the community of Arbeka, Oklahoma and they named her Geraldine “Gerri” Ramona Minyard. She was the first born with two sisters to follow. Gerri was a bright eyed young girl who excelled at school and was always at the top of her class, which resulted in her being moved ahead a year. She graduated as Valedictorian at the age of 16. Not only was she a star pupil, but Gerry was also a star basketball player during her school years. Gerri loved the outdoors and loved to go hunting with her dad as a young girl. Upon graduation from Dewar High School in Dewar, Oklahoma, Gerri started to work at TG&Y and Berry Drug in Henryetta, Oklahoma and then Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in Okmulgee, Oklahoma as a switchboard operator.
On a fateful December 8th day in 1955, Gerri stopped by Mumford Grocery in Henryetta, Oklahoma to purchase coffee, where she met Bruce Mumford. Bruce was struck by Gerri’s beauty and asked her out on a date. The following February 17, 1956, Bruce and Gerri married, a marriage that stood the test of time and lasted almost 63 years. Bruce was the love of Gerri’s life. Bruce always said he had a vision while in the US Navy of a beautiful lady and when he saw Gerri for the first time, he said that was the lady from his vision.
Gerri and Bruce had three children, two boys and one girl. Gerri’s family was everything to her and everyone knew she was a fierce protector of her husband and children. Her children have wonderful memories of the family water skiing with their Mom driving the boat a lot of the times. Afterwards, there would be a picnic of the best fried chicken ever.
Gerri was of the Baptist faith and taught Sunday School for several years. She and Bruce were instrumental in organizing and building the Beaver Street Baptist Church in Jenks, Oklahoma with the first meeting in their home. They later were instrumental in opening the Hitchita First Baptist Church in Hitchita, Oklahoma where Gerri taught Sunday School and played the piano and Bruce led the singing. Gerri helped Bruce as a building contractor in Tulsa and surrounding counties for several years.
She was an interior designer, an expert in color and specialized in custom draperies. Gerri was a landscape design artist and designed various landscapes for the many homes they built. When their children were grown, she and Bruce built a ranch in Okmulgee County and raised Santa Gertrudis cattle. She loved to take her grandchildren fishing at the pond on the ranch. They even ventured into the antique business and became known across the country for their areas of expertise-graniteware, quilts, toy stoves, and coffee grinders. Gerri and Bruce co-authored a satirical book reflecting upon their antique adventures titled, “Flea Mentality.” They traveled many places including Europe.
Gerri was such a beautiful and caring wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her thoughtfulness and love touched many lives. Every Christmas, her family looked forward to her wonderful homemade Christmas candy, especially her divinity and peanut brittle. As a fabulous cook, she was well known for her wonderful pies and their amazing crusts and meringues and her homemade rolls.
Her intelligence and creativity have not been matched. Her favorite color was red and roses were always her favorite flower. As a natural beauty, the only makeup she ever wore was lipstick.
Her life exemplified a beautiful life, a life well lived and that was always Christ centered. She cherished her husband and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and she will forever be in our hearts.
Gerri transitioned into the loving arms of Jesus on December 16, 2018 in the afternoon, with her family at her side, in Muskogee, Oklahoma at the age of 80.
Gerri was preceded in death by her parents; and her sister, Linda Kay Sparks.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her loving husband, Bruce, of the home; her children, Michael (Kimberley) Mumford of Bellevue, WA, Joel (Cindy) Mumford of Damascus, OR, and Kimberly (Ted) Mumford Williams of Muskogee, OK; seven grandchildren, Christine, Marisa-Claire, Lisbee, Nathan, Ali, Aaron, Melissa; nine great-grandchildren; her sister, Lahoma Morris of Midland, TX; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members.
Those wishing to make a memorial gift in memory of Gerri, may want to consider Beaver Street Baptist Church, PO Box 929, Jenks, OK, 74037.
The family will be hosting a private family celebration honoring Gerri’s life.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com
Obit written by Gerri’s daughter, Kimberly Williams