Geraldine Willoughby was born July 28, 1919 in Ethel, Oklahoma and died June 23, 2018 in Roswell, New Mexico.
She was the third of ten children born to Hallie and Earl Barnett of Snow, Oklahoma. She got married June 23, 1932 in Antlers, Oklahoma to Henry Eugene Willoughby, a World War I veteran and rancher from Pinon, New Mexico.
Geraldine is survived by four daughters: Betty Wood, Tularosa, New Mexico; Cassie Tyler, Alamogordo, New Mexico; Susie Wilson, Glendale, Arizona; and Hallie Willoughby, Irvine, California. she is also survived by eight grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and 11 great-great grandchildren.
Geraldine was the last surviving World War I widow and very active as a volunteer with the Roswell American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. She was a lifetime member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and served as Chaplain in both the American Legion and VFW. She helped organize several programs including giving Christmas gifts to veterans in nursing homes during the holiday season.
She devoted her life to helping others and was often a caregiver to many elderly local residents. She volunteered in several activities as a member of the Roswell Church of Christ where she taught Sunday School classes, assisted with Vacation Bible School activities, helped with the yearly Thanksgiving Supper for shut-ins, created floral arrangements in the church for funerals and other events, and arranged transportation for senior members of the church.
Geraldine was a teachers aide at Sunset Elementary School and loved to participate in the school's Hug-A-Bear program. She would dress up in a bear costume and hug students the teachers thought needed a hug.
She enjoyed cooking, singing, quilting and loved traveling around the U.S. with her daughter Susie and son-in-law Jim especially to the beaches in Florida.
The family would like to thank the staff in the Roswell Mission Arch alzheimer's care unit for giving our loved one such excellent care...we are most grateful for your dedication and service.
My deepest sympathy for your loss. What seems to be a long life is never long enough where our loved ones are concerned. Our Heavenly Father Jehovah feels the same way. That is why He has promised to swallow up death forever and soon end all our suffering. (Rev. 21:3-5; Isa. 25:8) May His promises be a soothing balm for your grieving hearts.
May you have ever lasting peace and love with the Lord.
Dusty & Elizabeth WoodTularosa, NM
We are very sorry for your loss. My mom is also at Mission Arch in the Alzheimer's Unit. We would love to listen to Geraldine sing her Yankee Doodle song, and she would even have us sing with her. Geraldine was a great lady, and we will miss her dearly.
Rita De La ORoswell, NM