During her last days with us, our "Honey," with her face turned toward heaven, would say every day, "I hope it's today!" She was eager to see her husband Brent and two sons "Brother" and Jon, who went on before. Jesus came to get her just as Hurricane Ida was moving into Baton Rouge on Sunday, August 29th, 9:14pm. Oh what a glorious day for her! Geraldine "Gerry" Ann Roddy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 16th, 1929 to Guy F. and Gertrude H. Roddy on her dad's birthday. She was raised just upriver on the banks of the Mississippi in the small town of Lutcher during the Great Depression. She was an only child surrounded by a large, fun, extended family. Only a year older than her youngest uncle, Gerry spent many days in the care of her loving grandmother, Elise Holley as her mom worked during those tough times. Gerry's family moved further up river to the big city of Baton Rouge when she was 14 years old. That was the year she met her future husband, Brent McArthur. Honey was the queen of a big dance under the grand oaks at City Park in Baton Rouge. She asked Brent to be her king and he was smitten. The next time he saw her he told her he was going to marry her! Gerry attended St. Mary's Dominican Boarding School in New Orleans for 9th and 10th grade. At the age of 16 she sang for the "Modernaires", a local big band group accompanied by her dear uncles. She transferred to St. Joseph's Academy in Baton Rouge for her junior and senior years. After graduating from St. Joseph's Academy, she went to St. Mary's Dominican for college. She said the Sisters there were so strict she had to sneak out a second story window to find good places to dance at night. Her Sophomore year she transferred to LSU, graduating in 1951. That same year, the US Army sent marching orders to Brent McArthur that he was to report to Fort Sill, Oklahoma on July 4th, 1951. Brent called Gerry in May of 1951 and said, "They're sending me to Fort Sill, but I'm not going without you." It was quite the proposal, one she loved to recount, "he proposed by phone!" After a whirlwind engagement, they were married in New Orleans on June 23rd with a reception at Hotel Monteleone. They honeymooned in luxurious Biloxi, Mississippi before heading up to Oklahoma to start their new life. She gave birth to her first child in Oklahoma, then moved back to Baton Rouge where God blessed her with seven more; four boys and four girls. They made her so happy! She had a big heart and a lilting laugh. Brent became a pharmacist and they bought a home on St. Rose Avenue where they shared life and raised a family. Brent had so many hobbies; they even tried their hand at the restaurant business, buying a share of the old Ruby's Bar under the overpass. A tragic accident left Gerry's dear son "Brother" paralyzed from the neck down. Gerry prayed that God would let her live long enough to take care of him his whole life. God answered her prayer and for 35 years she lovingly and joyfully cared for him. She and Brent traveled to Israel on a trip led and planned by their dear Bible Study leader, Nick Kalivoda. They saw Jerusalem and walked the Via Dolorosa. They went to Bethlehem, Nazareth, and walked the shores of Galilee. They traveled to Greece and visited the Isle of Patmos where John received the Revelations. Gerry and Brent never lost their love of music or each other. They spent just about every Saturday night together at Mulates, then Boutin's, dancing with friends and family to their favorite bands, especially Lee and Valerie Benoit. Gerry celebrated life. She loved decorating for every holiday… Christmas, New Years, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, July 4th, Autumn, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, and back to Christmas, and she never missed a birthday! She made friends with all of her neighbors. The "Grand Dames of St. Rose" met regularly long after they all found new homes elsewhere. And upon arriving at Pollard Estates she quickly joined the "Pollard Planters". She was a blessed woman who smiled at tomorrow. She loved to remember and recount God's blessings. Her joy and faith were contagious. Her sweet spirit and kind heart will be missed by all who knew her.
Gerry is preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, husband Brent McArthur Jr., and sons Brent "Brother" McArthur III, and Jon McArthur.
She is survived by her daughters; Brenda Teepell (Tommy), Marcia Ruckman (Art), Gerry, Holley, and Karen (Jon's wife) McArthur; sons Michael and Ryan McArthur; grandchildren Tommy (Alicia), Timmy (Sarah), Todd, and Taylor Teepell (Ashley); Troy (Julianne) and Megan Ruckman; Dr. Elise Ewing (Hunter) and Camille Doran; Chandler, Grace and Malloy McArthur; Cole and Cade McArthur; and great grandchildren; Virginia, William, Tommy, Georgia, Montana and Tennessee Teepell; Katie Rose and Tripp Teepell; Ella, Christopher and Catherine Teepell; Paige Ruckman.
Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 4th at Christ Covenant Church on Lee Drive at 2pm with visitation to follow.