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Gerald (Jerry) Ordean Geddes

of Maumelle, AR, 1942 - 2022

On November 1, 2022, Gerald (Jerry) Ordean Geddes, age 80, died after a long illness. Jerry was born on March 12, 1942, in the small farming town of Crookston, Minn., to the late Vernice Heitman Geddes and Ordean (Bud) Knowlton Geddes. He grew up in the neighboring town of Ada and his youth was filled with farm work and activities like 4H, debate club, and band. He said that he knew early on he did not want to stay on the farm and studied so he could pursue a career. His favorite subject was math…but we didn't let him keep score when we were playing cards because although he liked math problems and formulas, he didn't like addition!
After graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and receiving a master's degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, he pursued a career in finance, where his job opportunities took him first to Wisconsin, then Connecticut, Tennessee, Texas, and finally Little Rock, Ark. It was in Little Rock that he discovered that his preferred employment was working in the nursing home industry and he did that for the last 20 years he worked. Jerry did not like cold weather at all, and while he liked to say he was FROM northern Minnesota, it is noticeable that each job opportunity took him farther south.
In the early years, if Jerry wasn't working, he was probably on his boat enjoying family time on the water while teaching the children to ski or drive the boat. His favorite lake for this was Ouachita near Hot Springs, Ark. In later years, when the children were grown, his free time was spent volunteering with the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Jerry's love of anything to do with the water meant he always had a boat and spent years taking classes with the Power Squadron and over 25 years volunteering in the Coast Guard Auxiliary teaching classes in boating and assisting in activities on the Arkansas River. When he built his "forever" home on the banks of the Arkansas River, the first thing to get moved in was his boat, Hope.
Jerry loved playing games. Every day included a game of cards or Rummikub or backgammon. There was always plenty of laughter around the kitchen table and his laugh was the loudest and most infectious. Everyone in the house – guests, family members, children and grandchildren – joined in the fun. The longest event was one Thanksgiving holiday when he and his mother played dozens of games of backgammon, with whoever lost wanting a rematch. For years he enjoyed playing bridge and the dinner bridge group was a favorite time. His bidding was often bizarre but he sure could play the hand!
Jerry was fascinated with science, nature, live theater, new innovations and anything technical. He enjoyed the trips to the Planetarium, The Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, the State and National Parks, camping, floating the Buffalo River, tuning the engine on the Datsun B210, scuba diving, and flying single engine planes. In his later years he took lessons in Spanish, ballroom dancing, and piano; he never stopped learning. His love of technology opened his eyes to computers and when the Commodore 64 was released in the winter of 1982 he might not have been the first person in line to buy one but he was in that line! He didn't purchase it for himself so much as the family. All the children learned to operate it and the original IBM PC he purchased, developing skills with a computer early on. Having seen the university's large temperature-controlled computer room contrasted by the new revelation of a small computer that fits on a desk, Jerry knew this was the beginning of a new information age. And, not surprisingly, the children benefited from this foresight, with three of the five children now earning their living and supporting their families via the computer industry.
Jerry started each week with church and started each day with bible study. He loved the Lord and reflected it daily with his honesty and kindness.
Jerry was the eldest of five siblings and no five siblings have ever enjoyed each other's company more than the Geddes kids. When they are together there is constant chatter, laughter and good times shared. He is survived by his brother, Rodger (and wife Rhonda) Geddes; and his sisters Rita (and husband Harlan) Hoff, Ginger (and husband Peter) Rasmussen, and Merry aka Cookie (and her husband Steve) Luchau.
He is survived by his son, Bradley Ordean (and wife Sharon) Geddes; and daughter Shanie (and husband Steph) Laflamme – the children of his first wife Paulette Hollender. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Linda J. Geddes; and his stepchildren, Charlotte Gonzalez, Christopher (and wife Lydia) Sanders, and Joshua (and wife Harmony) Hiller. He is survived also by six grandchildren and step-grandchildren: Briggan and Jazlyn Laflamme, Lilith Geddes, and Cadence, Gwyneth, and Sam Hiller.
It's difficult to accept that his contagious laughter, his smile, his affection, his knowledge, and his touch is gone forever.
A 3 p.m. visitation will be followed by a 4 p.m. service on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main Street. Online guestbook www.SmithFamilyCares.com

Published November 4, 2022

OBITUARY SUBMITTED BY:
North Little Rock Funeral Home
1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR
E-mail: mail@nlrfh.com
Phone: 501-758-1170

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