Geraldine Pitcher Jonas

Aunt Geraldine “Jerri” Pitcher Jonas passed away in May.  I wish to share her obituary and a number of photos I have of her.

Geraldine ‘Jerri’ Jonas, 85, returned to our Heavenly Father on 26 May 2016.  She was born 1 October 1930 in Smithfield, Cache, Utah to Mary Geraldine Fulkerson and Ronald Nelson Pitcher.

She grew up in Smithfield and graduated from North Cache High School in Richmond, Cache, Utah, in 1948.

She married Ellis Seth Jonas on 18 August 1947. They were sealed in the Logan Utah LDS Temple on 24 April 1964.

She was very industrious and resourceful in all she did. She spent many hours working in her flower gardens, surrounding herself with the beauty they brought.

She took many horticulture and flower design classes at Utah State University prior to opening Jerri’s Floral and Greenhouse in 1976. Her successful business lasted for over 24 years before she retired.

Jerri was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served as Relief Society president, Primary president, and as a counselor in the stake Young Women’s presidency along with many other callings. She served a LDS full-time mission with her husband, Ellis Seth Jonas, in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission from 1993-94.

She was very active in community service for Smithfield and Cache County. She played a big part in designing and making floats for Smithfield Health Days. She was known and appreciated by all who knew for her willingness to serve.

She is our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, wife and friend. She was proceeded in death by her husband, Ellis Seth Jonas; her sons, Kent Ronald Jonas and Dan Ellis Jonas; parents, Mary Geraldine Fulkerson and Ronald Nelson Pitcher. She is survived by her children, Mary Lou Jonas (Jarel Hoyt), Julie Ann Jonas (Darnell Kowallis), and Ronald Nelson Jonas (Denise Chambers); and sisters, Faye Pitcher (Don Schiess) and Jenness Pitcher Pond. She has 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, 4 June 2016, at the LDS meetinghouse at 79 E. 200 South, in Smithfield.
A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on 3 June 2016, at Nelson Funeral Home, located at 85 S. Main St., in Smithfield. There will be a viewing for family and friends from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. prior to the services at the church. She will be laid to rest in the Smithfield City Cemetery.

Friend and Jerri

Friend and Jerri


School Picture

School Picture


Jerri is in the back between Evan and Lona, to the right of Ellis

Jerri is in the back between Evan and Lona, to the right of Ellis


B: Julie, Dan, Mary Lou, F: Ellis, Ron, Jerri

B: Julie, Dan, Mary Lou, F: Ellis, Ron, Jerri


Ellis & Jerri

Ellis & Jerri


Jonas home 25 July 2003

Jonas home 25 July 2003

I don’t have any of the family reunion photos from the past 10 years to share.  Maybe some of the rest of the family will share them or provide a copy to me so I can share them.

I really came to know Uncle Ellis and Aunt Geri (I know others spelled it Jerri, but I always used Geri and she signed my birthday cards that way too) while I was at Utah State.  I stopped in after I moved there in 2003.  As I got to know them quite a bit more, they invited me to dinner.  Eventually I fairly regularly went to Smithfield to get away, study, and do laundry.  It turned out to be a great opportunity to get away from campus, relax, and do homework.

I got to know Geri’s Mom, helped clean her home, and even did work for Jenness at her home.

I gave Ellis some books that I had that I thought he might be interested in and he gave me some of Great Grandma Lillians books as well as Great Grandpa Joseph’s books.  I still have them all.

Eventually I graduated from college, married, and moved away.  I always felt very welcome in their home and Geri always felt at ease to help me do things around the house.  I don’t know how many times I helped her weed some of her flower beds.

I wish I could have gone to the funeral but my own daughter, Aliza, was in the hospital.  Farewell until we meet again.


Another couple of photos I found with some names on it.  They are not related to me in any way that I can tell.

Dewey & Josephine Nipper with their son, 4 July 1943

Dewey & Josephine Nipper with their son, 4 July 1943

Introducing Sterling Dewey Nipper and his wife Josephine Gurwell Nipper.  He was born 12 March 1910 in Benton, Polk, Tennessee and died 1 April 1982 in Buhl, Twin Falls, Idaho.  He is buried in Filer, Twin Falls, Idaho.  She was born 7 January 1926 in Martinsburg, Audrain, Missouri and died 24 May 2004 in Buhl.  She is also buried in Filer.  Since this photo was in the collection of a family from Buhl, I assume I have the right Dewey and Josephine Nipper.  The photo did not have the Gurwell name on it.  I have no idea who the boy is, as far as I can tell the Nipper children are all still alive, however many there were.

Interesting my father was born the same day this photo was taken and Grandpa was preparing for war in Hawaii.

I don’t know that these children are related, but the photos have Nipper names on them.  Therefore, I assume there is some relationship.

Ivan & Ivell Nipper

Ivan & Ivell Nipper

This following photo reads, “Jess Nipper’s children”.  I don’t know if that is Josephine’s nickname or if Jess is short for Jesse or something else.

"Jess Nipper's children"

“Jess Nipper’s children”

However, this photo reads, “Jess Nipper’s Kids, he was married to Grandma Williams’ sister Pearl” and from that I conclude Jess is someone else.  There is a Jesse Franklin Nipper, born 10 October 1887 in Cleveland, Bradley, Tennessee and died 8 January 1967 in Twin Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho.  He is the uncle to Sterling Dewey Nipper.  He married Pearl Lulu Ownbey, born 20 November 1887 in Custer County, Idaho and died 9 March 1930 in Buhl.

Jess Nipper's kids

Jess Nipper’s kids

With the information on that photo, I found a sister to Pearl Lulu Ownbey named Ethel Gertrude Ownbey born 15 August 1886 in Green Forest, Carroll, Arkansas, and died 1 May 1967.  She was married to Solomon Walker Williams born 27 October 1879 in Sevierville, Sevier, Tennessee, and died 22 April 1958.  Therefore, all the names and references seem to add up so I am confident I have the right people.  Unfortunately, none of the children are named and the records I am looking at do not show any deceased children.  They could all very well still be alive out there in the world somewhere.


A duck story and the Gores

Here is a picture of our latest visitors here in Oklahoma City.  Kevin and Jean Gore from Walkden, Greater Manchester, England.  They visited and stayed with us for two evenings and about two days.

I first come to know the Gores in 1998 as I was preparing to leave for my mission to the UK.  The Bishop from the Hazelton Ward, Paul Tateoka, sent word through his brother in my ward, Ted Tateoka, that I needed to call this couple from the UK.

The Gores were staying with one of the missionaries who had brought them into the church, who lived 5 miles or so down the road from me.  I called the Meacham home and had a nice visit with Kevin for about 30 minutes or so.  I obviously had my mission call, but I do not recall knowing that they lived in my mission.  Kevin knew I was in the mission so he told me a few interesting things and we hung up the phone.

I admit I completely forgot about this conversation with Kevin Gore until my first Sunday serving in the Eccles Ward (now Swinton) of the Manchester England Stake.  I stood there shaking hands with members and introducing myself when a man asked if I was Elder Ross from Hazelton, Idaho.  I apparently looked dumbfounded so he informed me that I had spoken with him on the phone before my mission.  Granted, this was the first time I laid eyes on him.  Well, that started a relationship that has now come down through the years.  I served in the Eccles Ward for about 6 months, although since there were two sets of missionaries, me and my companion had the other half of the ward.

The Gores were probably one of the closest families I had in that ward, although there were a couple.  Before we left late in 1999, Kevin and Jean Gore treated all four of the missionaries to a very nice roasted duck dinner.

Time has a way of marching on, and so it has done with this friendship.  Brad Hales, Amy Hales, and I visited the Gores again in the summer of 2003 when we went to England for a convert baptism of a lady who Elder Hales and I had once taught (in Runcorn Ward).  I think we spent two evenings with them at that time, although our time was limited because they were working and we had other people in the area we also visited, but Jean made us a roasted duck dinner again!  We did not request it, but she made it, and it was fabulous.  We again enjoyed our time with them, although limited.

The Gores were kind enough to invite us to the wedding of their son, Ian, in Springville, Utah in 2004.  Brad Hales and I visited, partook of the food (no roasted duck!), and enjoyed a good evening with our British friends.  The Gores came to visit Utah in 2008 again, but we were only able to enjoy a light dinner at Olive Garden together (again, no duck, only in England!).

Amanda and I made the trek over the water again in 2008.  This time we again spent 2 nights with the Gores in their home on Trinity Crescent.  Both in 2003 and 2008 I knew the neighborhood well enough I could still drive to the home without much difficulty.  Jean once again made her now famous roasted duck dinner!  I honestly think this is the only times I have ever eaten duck in the past decade, if ever in my life (other than what they call duck at the Chinese buffet).  The Gores were more than kind in allowing us to stay with them, use their computers, talk family history, and even hosted a little get together of other members of the Swinton Ward I still knew and asked about.

Here we are in 2011, 13 years later after the phone conversation, and the Gores have come to visit us!  Sorry, we did not treat them to a roasted duck dinner.  It would have been an insult to Jean’s cooking.  Their son, Ian, had moved from Springville, Utah to Bentonville, Arkansas.  Kevin and Jean wanted to come down to visit the Oklahoma City Temple and, we feign to believe, us.  We drove out to Pops Soda Shop in Arcadia.  We also ate out at our favorite little Mexican joint and then we treated them to capers and artichoke pasta the night we made them dinner.  We played a couple of games of Ticket to Ride and just enjoyed our time together.  Thanks for being such great friends and keeping in contact through the years!

When is the next time we will see the Gores?  And, the question you all want to know, will there by duck involved?