Obituary for Geraldine “Jeri” Blakeslee
May 31, 1931 – December 13, 2020
Geraldine “Jeri” Stone Blakeslee was born in American Falls, Idaho, May 31, 1931. Her parents were Clifford E. Stone and Hilva LaMaude Willey Stone. She had five brothers (Don, Jay, Jack, Steve, and Allen) and one sister, Lynda. Jeri spent her early years and education in Southern Idaho. Coming to Southern California to visit her grandparents in 1948, she met, dated, and married Charles “Chuck” Blakeslee. They had four children rather quickly, by the time Jeri was 26.
Jeri decided to return to school, and she soon graduated magna cum laude from Compton Junior College. She helped Chuck launch and publish SKIN DIVER MAGAZINE during those years. Jeri then attended Cal State Long Beach, graduating cum laude and becoming a member of Pi lambda theta, educational honorary society. She did her student teaching and received her lifetime Secondary Teaching credential in 1964.
After selling the magazine, the family moved to Carpinteria, California, to live near their love, the ocean, and to become close to the land raising avocados and other food crops. Jeri began teaching English at Carpinteria High School in 1965, where she remained for the next ten years. She was American Field Service advisor, yearbook advisor, and the many other jobs that teachers perform. She also continued her education, doing graduate work at UC Santa Barbara.
Jeri devoted her life to the field of mental retardation, serving for over 40 years in various capacities from local president of Long Beach ARC to active board member, secretary and many chairperson responsibilities in Santa Barbara and Napa, California.
Jeri and Chuck moved to Nevada County in 1988. She edited the “Alta Sierran” newsletter during 1989-90. In her retirement years, she and Chuck traveled widely pursuing their lifelong interest in the ocean underworld. Jeri enjoyed those years too, gardening, cooking, reading, travelling, and time spent with her family and friends. After 64 years of marriage, Chuck passed in 2012. Jeri continued living in Nevada City, attending community events and daily warm water fitness.
She is survived by her children Chris (Mary), Jim (Trish), Carol (Lowell) Dalton, and Renee, and her brothers, Don, Allen, and Jay. She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Steve Stone, sisters-in-law Ginny, Dolores, and Helen.
Arrangements are under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.
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