Geraldine Shirley “Gerry” Elefritz was born and raised in Carpio, North Dakota. Gerry, or “Getty,” as she was affectionately known by her childhood friends, was the third of three daughters born to Luther and Rose Hansen.
She was a considerate, devoted and responsible young lady. Gerry took well to small town living — helping with chores, being active in the Lutheran church and studying hard at school. Though her dad died when she was a teen, Gerry, her sisters Lila and Darlene, and their mother Rose managed to make ends meet and carry on with life in Carpio.
After graduating from business college in Minot, North Dakota, Gerry enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. She was stationed in Washington, D.C., and soon proved herself to be a capable administrator. Mutual friends in D.C. introduced Gerry to a young flier named Carl “Jack” Elefritz. Gerry, while positioned well for a promising career in the military, made the choice to marry and be a wife and mom full time, a choice she never regretted.
Her husband Jack was a career man in the U.S. Air Force, which took the family around the world. This colorful adventure took Gerry and her station wagon full of kids from D.C. to Canada, Southern California, Germany, Belgium, and finally to Washington state, where she and Jack lived for 45 years on a 10-acre farm affectionately known as “The Shoestring.”
Gerry is survived by her husband Jack; her children Cindy (Steve) Probasco, Patty (Ken) Kettenton, Mark (Jill) Elefritz and Scott (Josey) Elefritz; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Gerry’s deep faith in God fueled her extraordinary service to her family, her friends, her church, and her community. She had a servant’s heart, a saint’s character, and an inner beauty that earned the praise and eternal gratitude of her husband and children.
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all” (Proverbs 31:29).
Memorial gifts in Gerry’s honor may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators, with a note requesting the gift be directed to the ministry of Larry and Bonnie (who is Gerry’s niece) Waswick.
A celebration of life will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Shoestring Valley Community Church in Onalaska. All are welcome. Newell-Hoerling’s Mortuary is handling arrangements.