Gerry Teskey entered the gates of Heaven on Thursday night, April 20th, in Marshall, Texas, at the age of 99. She was born Geraldine Ruth Helm on September 12, 1923, in San Antonio, Texas, to Albert and Opal Helm. She was raised in San Antonio where she graduated as Valedictorian from Hot Wells High School. On her 19th birthday, she married her backyard neighbor, George Teskey, at First Baptist Church in San Antonio. Her best friend, Maude, made her wedding dress and finished it the night before by candlelight because the electricity had gone out in a storm. When she and George were dating, they often sang hymns while she played the piano, and he played the violin. They were married for 77 years.
Together, they lived a full, layered life rich with friendships, adventure, world travel, work, and service. They began their married life together in Austin where George enrolled at The University of Texas before joining the Army Air Corps as a pilot and serving in World War II. They had their first child in Austin. Upon returning from the war, they settled in Dallas where he was based as a Braniff International Airways captain for nearly 35 years. They raised three children: Bobby, Terry, and Cheryl. As a family, they raised horses, rode the local rodeo circuit, vacationed in Mexico, spent weekends at the lake surfboarding behind the boat, and started a saddle business in their garage. Triple T Saddlery grew into two retail stores in Dallas and a warehouse in Huntington Beach, California, and inspired the family to continue in the business today in the DFW area. George and Gerry were members of Park Cities Baptist Church and were influential in the building of the new sanctuary. They traveled the world with Braniff, with their favorite destination being Israel.
When George retired from Braniff in 1979, and with direction from the Lord, they bought property east of Dallas in the tiny town of Alba, Texas. They started the Alba House Church where they held weekly Bible studies that eventually spawned Church On The Rock in Quitman, TX. On nearby Lake Fork, they built the Blue Barn Christian Retreat that changed and enriched thousands of lives for 40 years.
Gerry was known as Mamoo to her grandchildren, and she had a unique, personal relationship with each of them. She loved, listened, encouraged, and most importantly, prayed. She prayed for each of her children and grandchildren by name every day. She was as sharp as a tack, had a photographic memory, and could remember dates, details, and events, and never missed a birthday. At 97, she learned how to text and FaceTime on her new iPhone so she could “be there with everyone,” as she put it.
She kept her nails painted, got dressed every day with her hair styled and make up on, and added jewelry and a few spritzes of Knowing perfume, even if she wasn’t going anywhere. She loved Dr Pepper, Fritos, Outback, and the Dallas Mavericks. She never missed a game! She wrote on the back of every photo and dated birthday cards. She was a source of hope and touched the hearts of many people with her genuine kindness, including strangers. She believed in you and for you and was optimistic with a glass that overflowed.
She lived a life of purpose and service, and many lives have changed because of hers. She spent the last half of her life making sure everyone she met knew Jesus and the story of the Blue Barn. Her legacy will continue to tell this story and change lives.
Gerry was preceded in death by her parents, Opal and Albert Helm; her aunt and uncle, Hope and Pat Patterson; and her husband, George, in 2019, at the age of 100 and seven months (as she specified for everyone).
She is survived by her 3 children, 13 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren, and one on the way. To honor her and as she would do, they are named here. Children: Bobby Teskey and wife Cecelia, Terry Teskey and wife Virginia, Cheryl Teskey Staggers and husband Allen. Grandchildren: Traci Hollis and husband Terry, Michael Teskey and wife Anissa, Alicia Stanley and husband Rick, Julia Weger and husband Kenneth, Travis Teskey, Matthew Teskey and wife Tasha, Joshua Teskey, Colby Teskey, Micah Teskey and wife Shelley, Jennifer Huggins, Jason Huggins, Ty Staggers, Trent Staggers and wife Meredith. Great-grandchildren: Jake Teskey, Sydney Teskey, Tyler Lowery and wife Savannah, Jessie Weger, Jacee Weger, Kenley Ann Weger, Cabot Teskey, Tatumn Teskey, Ethan Teskey, Brooklyn Teskey, Piper Staggers, Lila Staggers, Dottie Staggers. Great-great-grandchildren: Weslynn Lowery, Levi Lowery. And her dear friend and spiritual son, Jeff Wickwire.
A special thank you to Arabella of Longview, Marshall Manor, PrimeCare Hospice, Marshall Hospice, and her caregivers and friends Stephanie Dunn, Lexi Jorgenson, and Sandie Manning.
“Remember, nothing is impossible with God!” ~ Gerry Teskey