Our beautiful mother passed away peacefully November 11, 2019 with family at her side at Providence Hospital in Waco.
Geraldine Margaret Cervenka was born on March 23, 1931 on the family farm at Route 2, West, Texas. She was the youngest of seven children born to Will J. and Annie (Smajstrla) Cervenka. The birth certificate listed Mom’s name as Carolyna instead of Geraldine. Carolyna was her father’s mother in Czechoslovakia. Mom’s birth certificate was corrected, but even today it has a paper attached showing Carolyna. Mom always said she wished they would have kept her name as Carolyna. She preferred to go by Geri.
Starting as a young girl, Geri had to pick cotton among other farm chores. She and her siblings wished they lived in the city (Waco). Years later after living in the city, she wished she was back on the farm.
Geri attended Leggett Elementary School. She and her siblings had to walk almost 2 miles to school. She graduated in the top of her class at West High School in 1949.
Geri attended Four-C Business College in Waco. She graduated early, finishing an 18-month curriculum in less than a year. She could take shorthand and type over 100 words per minute. Geri worked as an executive secretary at various companies, including Crawford & Co. Claims Adjusters and The Rohan Company. In her late seventies, Geri worked as a product demonstrator at Sam’s Club, from which she retired.
Geri was an avid Baylor Bears and Dallas Cowboys fan. We believe she waited to watch one last Baylor game. What a finale --- Baylor defeated TCU in triple overtime! Last year Mom was selected to be an Alumni by Choice of Baylor University. She proudly displayed her “degree” in her room, and pointed it out to all visitors.
Not only was she beautiful and intelligent, but Mom was a wonderful cook and seamstress. Her family loved her homemade pickles, banana pudding, apple crisp, beautiful Christmas cookies, and sweet tea. She had a green thumb and anything she planted blossomed. Geri always had beautiful rose bushes and a lovely yard.
Geri was proud of her Czech heritage and loved dancing to polka music. She would often honor her heritage by dressing in an authentic Czech kroje and baked homemade kolaches for her family.
Geri always put God and family first. She was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church for many years and raised her children in the Catholic faith.
Geri was preceded in death by her parents, siblings: Henrietta Cervenka, Willa Mae Cervenka, Eugenia Surley, and Wilfred Cervenka, brothers-in-law Alvin Surley and Anthony Ghelfi, sister-in-law Mildred Cervenka, and niece Sharon Cervenka.
She is survived by her children: Michelle (Stephen) Curtis of Riesel, Renee (Billy) Chollett of College Station, Michael Davidson of Waco, Mark (Becky) Davidson of Independence, MO., and Troy Davidson of Springfield, MO., and Jane (Rob) Lewis of San Antonio, brother Clement Cervenka of Burleson, sister Evelyn Ghelfi of Astoria, NY., sister-in-law Willie Mae Cervenka of West, fourteen grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and her beloved dog Mickey.
Rosary Service at Oakcrest Funeral Home was led by nieces Darlene Simcik and Sandra Anz.
Funeral services were Friday at St. Louis Catholic Church in Waco, officiated by Father Ryan Higdon.
Pallbearers were grandsons Will Chollett, Lucas Chollett, T.J. Davidson, Shane Davidson, Brent Davidson, Matthew Davidson, Andrew Davidson, and Sammy Davidson.
Presentation of Gifts was by granddaughters Heather Michum, Lacey Chollett, and Libby Davidson.
A heartfelt Eulogy was delivered by grandchildren Ashley Stone and Lucas Chollett.
Old and New Testament Scriptures were read by niece, Darlene Simcik.
Hymn music was performed by dear family friends, Robert and Mary Stone.
Graveside services were conducted by Father Walter Dhanwar from St. Martin of Tours Church.
The family wishes to thank The Atrium for their care of Mom for the past few years. Special thanks to Providence Hospital ER, 4 North and Hospice Staff for their compassionate care of our mother.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Providence Hospice.