Geraldine “Jeri” Vivian Boyd died peacefully on August 23, 2021, in hospice care at her apartment at River Hills Village in Keokuk, Iowa. She was 103 years old. The cause of death was heart failure.
Jeri was born near Farmington, Iowa, on February 6, 1918, to Carroll Bart White and Martha Vivian (Norman) White.
Jeri began her long teaching career at a one-room school house in Sandusky, Iowa. At that time, only single women could teach, and their salary included room and board. There she met her husband, Marshall Coulter Boyd, whom she married on June 6, 1941. Marshall pre-deceased Jeri in 1992 after 51 years of marriage.
Following their wedding, Jeri and Marshall lived their entire lives in Keokuk. Jeri resumed teaching after both of her daughters were born. She initially taught third and fourth grades (in the same room) at St. Mary’s School and later taught math and science at St. Vincent’s School. In recognition of her excellence in teaching, Jeri was (1) selected as an “Outstanding Leader in American Elementary and Secondary Education” in 1976; (2) listed in Who’s Who of American Teachers; and (3) appointed as a judge at the Hawkeye Science Fair sponsored by Drake University, the Des Moines Register, the Iowa Medical Association and the Scanlon Medical Foundation. She retired after teaching a total of 28 years in public and parochial schools.
After Marshall died in 1992, Jeri began a second career as a volunteer with the Keokuk Area Hospital (KAH) Auxiliary. She logged approximately 14,000 volunteer hours, serving as Patient Representative, an escort at the Surgery Waiting Room, and a distributor of reading materials, including her printouts funny emails, to patients. In addition, Jeri served on the board of directors of the KAH Auxiliary and held the offices of President, Corresponding Secretary, Specialties Chair, Cardiac Rehabilitation Chair, Skilled Nursing Unit Chair, and Nominating Chair. Jeri also represented the KAH Auxiliary at the Iowa Hospital Association meetings, Legislative Day and Summer Gathering.
As a result of her volunteerism, Jeri was (1) named one of 50 Faces of Volunteerism in 2014 by the Iowa Commission on Volunteerism; (2) featured as part of Governor Branstad’s “A Call to Service” initiative to challenge and encourage Iowans to give back to their communities through volunteerism and service in 2014; (3) spotlighted as a Volunteer Making a Difference by Big River United Way in 2013; and (4) named a Volunteer of the Year by the Iowa Hospital Association at its 2009 Annual Meeting.
Other organizations and activities in which Jeri participated include the First Christian Church of Keokuk; Friendly Couples Sunday School Circle of the First Christian Church; Kings Daughters Circle (President and Treasurer); Chapter LZ of PEO; YWCA Board of Directors; League of Women Voters; Tri-State Gun Club; Keokuk Gun Club; Ducks Unlimited; Keokuk Country Club; and numerous bridge clubs.
Jeri was pre-deceased by her parents, her husband, and her brother, Carroll James White (also a centenarian). She is survived by her daughters Linda (Jay) Griffey and Janette (David) Sullivan, her nephew Steven (Sonja) White, her nieces Lynne (Jack) Blackwell, Gretchen (Chuck) Petry and Judy Schlotter, as well as numerous cousins, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at the First Christian Church in Keokuk. Services will be held immediately thereafter at 2:30 p.m., followed by interment in the Sandusky Cemetery. In light of the pandemic, no public reception will be held. The church practices social distancing and the wearing of masks. A live stream of the service will be available on the church’s Facebook page.
Memorials may be sent to the Keokuk Area Hospital Auxiliary Foundation, c/o Amy Conlee, 1600 Morgan Street, Keokuk, Iowa 52632 or the First Christian Church at 3476 Main Street, Keokuk, Iowa 52632.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.vigenmemorialhome.com