Sunday, December 6, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Prayer Service 7:30 PM.
Food and refreshments will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Geraldine Redmond, words such as compassionate, empathetic, and peacekeeper come to mind. However, the word that perhaps paints the most vibrant picture of her is amazing. She was vivacious and vibrant, yet she did waiver in her self esteem at times. Her zest for life was contagious to all who were near. Geri was married to the love of her life. She was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who were her greatest source of pride and joy. Deeply loved, Geri will never be forgotten.
The 1930s were some of the darkest days we’ve faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce and the unemployment rate soared, which left countless American families without homes. Things were only more complicated when a crippling drought covered our nation’s heartland. It was during this trying time that a baby girl named Geraldine entered into this world on April 16, 1935 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was an only child of Marinus and Elnora (Alger) DeVries for eight years until her brother, Carl, was born. To support their family, Geri’s father worked as a truck driver while her mother was a beauty operator. She played the accordion, which showcased her beautiful hands. She was also in a few plays and loved reading. For her education, Geri attended local schools, graduating from Comstock High School in 1953.
New and exciting changes were in store for Geri when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was D. Edward Redmond, and she spotted him at the Cream-O’s Drive-in where she worked as a car hop. They were seemingly smitten with one another right from the start as he kept coming back to see her numerous times, staying for very long periods of time. Geri and Ed began dating and soon fell deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, they were married on June 18, 1953, also happened to be Ed’s birthday, in the same month that Geri graduated. The newlyweds went to the Red Brick Inn in Plainwell for a few days. Ed began his career at Kalamazoo Valley Paper, while Geri worked for a print company through a temp agency for a short time. However, when they began welcoming children into their hearts and home, she left the workforce. They raised their children in the home that Ed built, board by board, over a three year period from a Sears house kit. In 1959 when they moved in; Geri and Ed called it home for the rest of their lives.
There was no greater joy in Geri’s life than her family. Together she and Ed were blessed with six children, beginning in 1955 and ending in 1969 when Ted was born. Geri fully immersed herself in caring for their children, and loved being a mother. Although she didn’t really enjoy cooking, she loved baking. She was known for her memorable Dutch pastry and amazing birthday cakes. In fact, Geri went over and above when it came to birthdays and made them so special. In 1970, they put a pool in the yard, and this became the place for countless family memories to be made. Since she didn’t really experience the magic of Christmas while growing up, she looked forward to celebrating it with her family every year.
Always one to be busy, Geri was a woman of many interests. Once her children were older, she began pursuing hobbies including painting with oils. She still has many of her pieces hanging in her home. Geri arranged silk flower and even started a small business doing flowers for weddings. She later started stamping, scrapbooking, making her own cards, and knitting most recently. Geri was always very creative, and she gave everything her all as well. She and Ed did some traveling including numerous trips to Las Vegas so Geri could play the penny slots. They went to both Ireland and Europe. As an avid reader, Geri loved her Kindle, at least when it was working, and she also liked watching baseball. She collected various things including Hummel figurines, music boxes, clowns, and teddy bears.
All who knew Geraldine Redmond would agree, she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was accepting and never one to judge others, although she was known to be hard on herself. Geri faced a tough road when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just this past July, but she was amazingly strong up until the end. She was a peacemaker who avoided conflict at all costs, and she always advocated for the underdog, too. A blessing to everyone she met, Geri will be forever missed.
Geraldine “Geri” Redmond, of Portage, died on December 2, 2015, at her home. Geri’s family includes her 5 children: Diane (Jeff) Marion, Geri Kay Garcia, Denise (Mike) Busley, Scott Redmond and Ted (Colleen) Redmond; grandchildren: Tom (Ragan) McGovern, Shellee (Jakan) Jano, Dan McGovern, Jeff (Susan) Lee, Kellee (Ryan) Houghtaling, Bobby Busley (Kelly Korbel), Mary Elizabeth Redmond, Jimmy Redmond, Rachel Redmond, Ben Heck and Kate Heck; great-grandchildren: Tommy, Tori, Ollan, Elijah and Charlotte; and brother: Carl (Katherine) DeVries and his daughter, Norene DeVries. Geri was preceded in death by her husband, D. Edward Redmond in 1998; son, Tommy Redmond in 1961; and nephew, Carl DeVries, Jr. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshment on Sunday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home-Betzler 6080 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo- 375-2900 where a Prayer Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Services will be Monday 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home followed by burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Please visit Geri’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the Shephard Center.