On Saturday, October 26, 2019, we said goodbye to my grandfather. He struggled with a bad bout of pneumonia over the summer, and it took a toll on him. Though he was strong enough to recover from it at the time, his health steadily declined. He lived a successful, adventurous 100 years. As my grandmother says, we can be happy because he lived a long, full life and is where he wanted to be. In Heaven. Our family gathered in East Texas to celebrate his life well lived, and I had the honor of writing his obituary:
George Ray Teskey was born March 11, 1919 in Great Falls, Montana to Ella Ray and George Edison Teskey. He was raised in San Antonio, Texas where he met and married Geraldine Helm, his backyard neighbor. He built a gate in the fence that separated them, complete with a trellis of roses. They married on her 19th birthday.
After he graduated from high school, he attended St. Mary’s University at night and worked for Alamo Bank during the day. He moved to Austin where he enrolled at the University of Texas, and shortly after, enlisted with the Army Air Corps at the start of WWII. During his military service, he was stationed in Missouri, Austin, Syracuse, and overseas in the CBI.
When he returned home from the war, he was hired as a pilot by Braniff International Airlines in Dallas where he flew for almost 35 years and retired as a captain. Together, he and Gerry raised 3 children, bred horses, and built businesses including a saddlery and an antiques shop. After retirement and with direction from the Lord, they moved to Alba, Texas and built the Blue Barn Christian Retreat on Lake Fork. It has changed and enriched the lives of thousands of people over the last 40 years. He had a thumb greener than anyone’s and grew vegetable gardens, rose gardens, pine trees, crepe myrtles, and orchards.
He was known as PawPaw to his grandchildren. He and Gerry have 13 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter. He taught his grandchildren how to drive cars, trucks, tractors, and boats. He taught them how to ride a horse, catch a fish, and shoot a gun. He taught by example, the meaning of integrity, hard work, and most importantly, love. Everything he did was infused with his sense of humor and a bit of silliness.
He is survived by his wife of 77 years, Geraldine Helm Teskey, his 3 children, all of his grands and greats, and his friend and spiritual son, Dr. Jeff Wickwire.
His family celebrates his 100 years of life and believes that he is in Heaven where he wanted to be and where he has been made new.❤️