Alta Pauline Geries
February 8, 2021
VIEW SERVICE HERE ON AND AFTER 2.15. 2021 at 2pm CST https://youtube.com/c/FBCFarwell
A funeral service will be held on Monday, FEBRUARY 15, 2021 at 2:00pm CST at Farwell First Baptist Church, in Farwell, TX. A visitation will be held from 1pm-2pm. (No graveside to follow due to possible inclement weather.) internment at Sunset Terrace Cemetery.
Born in Oklahoma Lane, Texas January 18, 1931 to Lester and LaVysa Norton, Alta Geries passed away after a lengthy illness on February 8, 2021 to be with her God and her loved ones who left this world before her. Her mother LaVysa passed away when Alta was four and early on she demonstrated a care for others that would permeate her being for the rest of her life as she helped care for her two younger brothers, Gerald and Darrell. Lester soon married Frances Carpenter, and Alta was then thrilled to welcome Jimmy, Wilma, Charles Wade, and David to the family that Alta would love, nurture, and cherish for the rest of her life. As the eldest sibling in a farming family during the early days of agriculture in the Texas Panhandle, Alta helped to care for and raise her younger brothers and sisters while also lending a hand with chores inside and outside of the house. During these formative years, Alta developed the traits she would embody throughout her life such as an unyielding optimism; a stubborn perseverance; an unequaled toughness; and an unselfish love for others.
Alta attended Farwell High School where during her early years there she met and started dating Herman Geries, and after graduation at age eighteen they were married at the home of her parents and started a relationship in which both would be pillars of comfort, joy, love, and support to each other for all of their days.
The first home Alta made with Herman was on his Uncle Earnest Ramm’s farm, and then in 1951, the couple moved north of Farwell where Herman and Alta rented property from Lester and stayed in the house that would become the home of many young couples from the Norton clan in the future. In 1952, Herman began a four year stint in the Air Force during which Alta worked as secretary in the Parmer County extension office, Aunt Willie’s Variety store in Bovina, and Rose’s Drug Store in Farwell. Upon Herman’s return from Germany, the young couple finished the stint in the Air Force with stays in Altus, Oklahoma and Cannon Air Force Base.
Upon leaving the Air Force, Alta and Herman moved north of Farwell where Alta not only had to make a home, but also had to drive a tractor, hoe cotton, drive a grain truck, and any other chore her husband needed help with, all while making three great meals a day and honing her cooking skills that would become legendary in the family and community. The young pair wanted to start a family, and in February 1961 they adopted their first child, a baby girl they named Tina. Three years later, having to pull their car from a snowdrift in their driveway with a tractor, they braved a blizzard to adopt their second child, a baby boy they named Todd. The couples’ lives would revolve around their children for the rest of their days and were always exemplary parents.
In 1970 Herman and Alta bought land just across the border in New Mexico and helped design the house they had built and would become the family home for years to come. Through the years, in spite of all the responsibilities Alta had in her own home, she was always quick to help others in need, staying in homes with people who needed help while adjusting to life with newborns, or just delivering meals to those who needed a hand, and people were always more than happy for Alta to cook their meals. Any time there was a meal to be served at the First Baptist Church, the Pleasant Hill Community center, or someone suffered a loss in the community, Alta would be front and center with some of her great food and would pitch in for any work that needed to be done. She loved gardening and canning the food she raised; green beans, corn, black eyed peas, tomatoes, and okra to name a few, and she loved sharing her knowledge and the fruits of her labors with others. Especially her nieces and nephews.
Alta also sewed with great enthusiasm making clothes for her children, crocheting blankets, doing needlepoint, and embroidery. She also loved decorating her house, with her favorite color red always at the forefront, and was always so very happy in and proud of the house she and her husband had built. In the midst of all of this, she would also be called upon to help out training steers for the 4-H show and driving the occasional tractor or truck, as well as selling Watkins products to supplement the family income. Amidst all of this work, Alta still found time to engage in the civic life of the community, being an Oklahoma Lane Farmerette, and serving as the president of the Curry County Cow Belles.
In 2012, Alta lost Herman, her husband of sixty-two years and moved to League City, Texas to be nearer her daughter-in-law, Phyllis Geries and her son. After eighty-two years in the Farwell community, her move was filled with trepidation, but with her optimism and faith she came to love her new home more than she ever thought possible. Certainly she missed her friends and loved ones, but she came to love the proximity to all the shopping she could possibly do, particularly the really nice grocery stores. But most of all, she loved being near her family, especially her granddaughter and great grandkids who loved her dearly in return.
Alta lived a varied life, but at the basis of it all was her faith in Jesus Christ, and her dedication to the role that God intended for her to play on this Earth. She was a charter member of the First Baptist Church in Farwell, Texas after moving her membership from First Baptist Church in Texico, New Mexico. Among the many roles she served in the church, she served as secretary of the Sunday School for years, a role which she reprieved in her new church, First Baptist Church of Pasadena, Texas, she taught Sunday School at different levels for many years, helped organize and run Vacation Bible School every summer, helped out at the Floydada Youth Camp, went on mission trips, and even played the piano during services occasionally. We can all be sure that following the life she lived so fully and righteously, she was greeted in Heaven with, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Alta is survived by her son Todd and his wife Phyllis of League City, Texas: son in-law James Dorwald of San Antonio, Texas; sister Wilma Jamison and her husband Leon of Marble Falls, Texas; brother Charles Wade Norton and his wife Lisa; brother David Norton and his wife Pam of Farwell, Texas; sister-in-law Anne Norton; brother in-law Dickie Geries and his wife Glenda of Fredericksburg, Texas; granddaughter Amy Buehler and her husband Brad of Houston, Texas; granddaughter Sarah Spickard and her husband Ben Rose of Cambridge, England; granddaughter Christen Gill; great grandson Grayson Buehler; great granddaughter Ava Buehler; great granddaughter Sophia Buehler; and numerous nieces and nephews of which she was incredibly fond.
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