5/31/1931 – 12/13/2020
Geraldine “Jeri” Stone Blakeslee was born in American Falls, Idaho, on May 31, 1931. Her parents were Clifford E. Stone and Hilva LaMoude Willey Stone. She had five brothers (Don, Jay, Jack, Steve and Allen) and one sister, Lynda. Jeri spent her early years and education in Southern Idaho. Coming to Southern California to visit her grandparents in 1948, she met, dated and married Charles “Chuck” Blakeslee. They had four children rather quickly, by the time Jeri was 26.
Jeri decided to return to school, and she soon graduated magna cum laude from Compton Junior College. She helped Chuck launch and publish Skin Diver Magazine during those years. Jeri then attended Cal State Long Beach, graduating cum laude and becoming a member of Pi Lambda Theta, educational honorary society. She did her student teaching and received her lifetime secondary teaching credential in 1964.
After selling the magazine, the family moved to Carpinteria, California, to live near their love, the ocean, to become close to the land raising avocados and other food crops. Jeri began teaching English at Carpinteria High School in 1965, where she remained for the next 10 years. She was American Field Service advisor, yearbook advisor and held many other jobs that teachers perform. She also continued her education doing graduate work at UC Santa Barbara. Jeri devoted her life to the field of intellectual disabilities, serving her community for over 40 years in various capacities from president of the Long Beach ARC to active board member, secretary and many chairperson responsibilities for the ARC community in Santa Barbara and Napa counties.
Jeri and Chuck moved to Nevada County in 1988. She edited the “Alta Sierran” newsletter, 1989-90. In her retirement years, she and Chuck traveled widely, pursuing the ocean underworld. Jeri enjoyed those years too, gardening, cooking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends. After 64 years of marriage, Chuck passed in 2012. Jeri continued living in Nevada City, attending community events and daily warm water fitness classes.
She is survived by her children Chris (Mary), Jim (Trish), Carol (Lowell) Dalton and Renee. She is predeceased by her parents, her brother Steve Stone, sisters-in-law Ginny Stone (Don), Dolores Stone (Allen) and Helen Stone (Jay).
There are no funeral arrangements. Jeri’s ashes will be spread in the Pacific Ocean in an area where Chuck’s ashes were spread 13 years ago.