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Mrs. Geraldine Louise “Jerri” Bezdek, of Fort Pierce, FL, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on February 15, 2020, her 103rd birthday.
Jerri was born in Ellwood City, PA on February 15, 1917 to the late John T. Newton and Mayme Ewing Newton. She spent her childhood in Ellwood City alongside two sisters and two brothers. When Jerri was 16 years old, she relocated to Miami, FL where she graduated from Edison High School. She met her future husband at a dance. In 1940, Jerri was wed to Mr. Victor William “Dick” Bezdek. The couple settled in Miami, FL and had one daughter and one son. During these years, Jerri was very active in the Lions Club Auxillary and traveled extensively to their international conventions.
After Hurricane Andrew, Jerri moved to Fort Pierce FL and lived with her son, Roger. Jerri was a member of Indian River Presbyterian Church in Fort Pierce, FL for 25 years. She was active in the church’s Bible studies, women’s fellowship and other groups within the church. Jerri also attended Evergreen Church in Peachtree City, GA when she was visiting family in the area. She was a longtime sales associate in Burdines, a Florida flagship department store. She eventually retired at the age of 76, although she did not slow down. Jerri stayed active throughout her life. Although Florida was Jerri’s true home, she spent the last year of her life with her daughter in Sharpsburg, GA.
Jerri was neat and tidy. She kept an immaculate home and loved to set her table for guests. While she was particular about her home, she was even more so about her hair. She kept her hair in a trademark twist that had to be done just right. She took pride in her appearance and was typically dressed to the nines. She loved wearing her signature color blue. Jerri was knowledgeable and read the newspaper every morning. She also enjoyed a good magazine. She was bright and perpetually optimistic. She was compassionate and kind. She was small in stature but had an extraordinarily big heart. She was sensitive to the needs of others and would do anything to help a friend. She was a wonderful grandmother and a strong role model to all her “grands.” The true matriarch of her family, Jerri was well respected and incredibly loved. A celebration of life service was held on her birthday at her home and the reverend Barbara Laucks officiated, a long time family friend.
Along with her parents, Jerri was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 48 years: Victor “Dick” William Bezdek; siblings: Shirley Eidenmiller, Gwendolyn Hudak, John T. Newton Jr. and Norman Newton. She is survived by her children: Donna (Donald) Burgess of Sharpsburg, GA and Roger William Bezdek of Sebring, FL; grandchildren: Bruce William (Regina) Bezdek of Manhattan, KS, Kimberly (Brian) Robbins of Bonita Springs, FL, Brenda Dees of Sebring, FL; great-grandchildren: Kaitlyn Gonzalez of Junction City, KS, Zachary Robbins of Bonita Springs, FL, Kayberly Dees, James Dees and Gauge Dees, all of Sebring, FL; great-great-grandchildren: Kaylee Dees and Ivan Gonzalez; close nieces: Pat (Jim) Schooley of New Castle, PA, Norma Johnston of Ellwood City, PA, and Mary Lou Stoufer of Missoula, MT; numerous other nieces, nephews and many close church
Jerri will be laid to rest in Slippery Rock Cemetery in Ellwood City, PA. The Bezdek family is being assisted by Georgia Cremation, 1086 Hwy 54 West, Fayetteville. Messages of condolence may be left at www.GeorgiaCremation.com.