Geraldine Carrie Huddleston Grega thumbnail

Geraldine Carrie Huddleston Grega

Died: November 1, 2018

Geraldine Carrie Huddleston Grega passed away on November 1, 2018, All Saints’ Day. She was born on January 16, 1920 in Benham, Kentucky, to Maynard Newman Huddleston and Chloe Livy Powers Huddleston. The eldest of six, she deeply loved her sisters, Obie, Mary Lynn, Vivian; and brothers Maynard and Alan; and adored her…read more

Geraldine Carrie Huddleston Grega passed away on November 1, 2018, All Saints’ Day. She was born on January 16, 1920 in Benham, Kentucky, to Maynard Newman Huddleston and Chloe Livy Powers Huddleston. The eldest of six, she deeply loved her sisters, Obie, Mary Lynn, Vivian; and brothers Maynard and Alan; and adored her many nieces and nephews over her long life. In 1941 she captured the heart of Frank Anthony Grega quickly. He was her man in uniform and she the perfect Army wife stationed in Shreveport, San Francisco, Seattle (here first daughter, Carolyn, was born), San Antonio, and Salt Lake City. Traveling and meeting persons from across the world would be a lifelong passion. In 1951 Uncle Sam sent the family to Sasebo as the first wave of dependents to live on a Japanese military base after World War II. Gerry’s ever-present kindness and generosity blossomed. To say she “fraternized with the locals” hardly does her acts justice. In her own words, she “felt like an un-appointed ambassador.” The family’s quarters was filled with kimono-wearing women who were eager to see an American home and 1950s appliances. Never mind the language barrier. Throughout her life, she was known for her welcoming, photogenic smile and golden hair. Gerry, with the Army’s assistance, changed the lives of 250 Japanese children taught by seven Australian missionary nuns nearby. The school conditions were primitive but loving. However, by the time the next deployment came along, there was a brand new school built by soldiers complete with modern bathrooms and funding. Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, was the next stop before receiving the exciting orders to embark for Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The post could not have been more breathtaking nor the timing more perfect with the 50th state declared at the end of their tour of duty. Next assignment was Fort Meade, Maryland and life event the birth of a second daughter, Frances. Here Gerry embraced her true vocation as an educator at Holy Trinity Catholic School and was beloved by both students and faculty. As for avocations, there were little theater, flower arranging, cake decorating, millinery, fashion, photography, fine sewing, candy making (coveted holiday gifts), choir singing, painting, costuming, and collecting. Gerry, now mother-in-law to Jim Bennett and grandmother to James Gordon Bennett (Stephanie Hudgens) and Matthew Grega Bennett (Geneane Lazo), discovered Mardi Gras, and Louisiana became her home in 2008. During her ten years living in Baton Rouge, family was absolutely everything to her. At 98, she was the matriarch who received much love from her immediate and extended great circle of relatives. Her final years were spent at St. James Place Highland Court Nursing surrounded by remarkable caregivers and Hospice of Baton Rouge. There will be a religious service and celebration of her life in November in Maryland where she will be reunited with her husband who died in 2001. A collection of her clothing is at the LSU Textile and Costume Museum. Memorial donations to the “Friends” at 140 Human Ecology Building, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803 would please her greatly.

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