Geraldine Haynes “Gerry” Elledge, 87, passed away after a long illness on Sunday, May 26, 2019, with her loving family by her side. She was born to Alma Macy Haynes and Hayes Haynes in Jonesville on March 5, 1932.
She graduated from Jonesville High School and then Grace Hospital in Morganton as a registered nurse. She began her 41-year nursing career at the old Wilkes Hospital and then at the current Wilkes Regional Medical Center. She specialized in labor and delivery, assisting with the birth and care of thousands of newborns. She often gave the on-air “Stork Report,” a feature on WKBC radio.
Throughout her life, children of all ages were drawn to her, and she had a unique talent for calming their fears and tears. Many friends, neighbors and members of her Mountain View Baptist Church family affectionately referred to her as a second mother because of her influence on them as children and adults. She was known for her kindness and for always serving others before herself.
She met her husband, John Sherman “Jack” Elledge, on a blind date. The couple married in 1956, lived in North Wilkesboro and then built a house on Haymeadow Road in Hays, where they lived ever since. She was “the best mother in the world” to four children: John Sherman “Johnny” Elledge Jr., Martha Carol Elledge, Elizabeth Haynes Elledge “Beth” Gossett and Amy Maria Elledge. She was the beloved grandmother of eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Gerry loved to read and passed this love of reading to her children. She often would read late into the night, when she wasn’t staying up late to cook, sew or prepare for holiday celebrations. She loved to garden and created bouquets from her roses and zinnias. She established and landscaped a memorial garden for her daughter, Amy.
She was a talented homemaker, known for her love of cooking and baking. Her cookies, cakes, salsa, homemade strawberry jam, ice cream and spaghetti sauce were favorites of her family, and she baked bread almost every week for decades. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have fond memories of what they called, “G-bread.” She collected dolls and displayed them in her home.
Her nursing class held a reunion every year for over 70 years that she attended and was a highlight of her year. She enjoyed picnics and camping trips on the Blue Ridge Parkway, trips to the Great Smoky Mountains area and enjoyed traveling extensively throughout the U.S. and to Mexico, especially after her retirement. Over the past 20 years, she created scrapbooks for all her children and grandchildren and for special occasions, such as her husband Jack’s fishing trips. In her final years, she was accompanied by a loving and loyal protector, her dog Ace.
She was an active church worker at Mountain View Baptist Church, and she established a church library and served as the librarian for many years. She quietly gave monthly donations for many years to over 10 charities and organizations that helped the poor, and she had a special place in her heart for the homeless and the efforts of Habitat for Humanity. She was a role model of Christian virtue to her children, and her whole life was a lesson in service to others and humble kindness.
Geraldine Haynes Elledge was preceded in death by her parents, Hayes and Alma; a brother, Vess Haynes; and a daughter, Amy Maria Elledge.
She is survived by her loving husband, John Sherman “Jack” Elledge Sr.; a son, John Sherman Elledge Jr. and daughter-in-law, Ellen Koch “Ellie” Elledge; her daughters, Martha Carol Elledge, and Elizabeth Haynes Elledge “Beth” Gossett and son-in-law, Jason Gossett; a sister, Sue Haynes Tharpe; her grandchildren, Jacob Gabel, Cody Gabel, Candace Gabel Nelson, Jessie Gabel, Caleb Gossett, Connor Elledge, Tristan Elledge and Aden Gossett; and six great-grandchildren and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
The family thanks all the nurses, doctors and other caregivers over the past year: the employees and volunteers of hospice, friends, neighbors and church members, and appreciates all the thoughts and prayers from churches and co-workers of the family.
A private burial ceremony will be held Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Mountlawn Memorial Park. A memorial service will be held Sunday, June 2, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Baptist Church in Hays, with the Rev. Julius Blevins and the Rev. Brian Blankenship officiating. Visitation will follow the service in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, Gerry requested donations be made to Habitat for Humanity in her name.
Miller Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.millerfuneralservice.com.