Gerry Lou Carrick was born in Toledo, Oregon on September 30, 1934 to Dollie Veneta Stockdale and Wesley Arthur Parfitt. She went home with her mother to Grandpa Stockdale’s homestead in Burnt Woods after 10 days in the hospital.
In 1940, Dolly moved to Corvallis and was working as a waitress when she met the love of her life, Delbert “Deb” Follett, a burly and gentle logger. Deb married Dollie and adopted Gerry and her sister Patricia. Mom always referred to Deb as “Papa” and they were very close.
From 1940 to 1946, Gerry and her family moved from one Oregon logging camp to another in the Willamette Valley, places such as Alpine and Valsetz. Finally, in 1946, the Folletts moved to Waldport and settled down. Mom went to school and became friends with Darlene Lundy (Pankey), Boopy Lundy (Bacon) and Shirley Dallenbach (Robertson). Darlene became mom’s best friend and it remained that way for 75 years, until Mom passed away.
In 1948, during her sophomore year at Waldport High School, a major event occurred that would forever shape mom’s life, when she came down with Polio. Mom was taken to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland for treatment. It didn’t look good for her, as she almost had to be treated with the iron lung breathing machine, But mom was a fighter and she triumphed over a tough opponent. The effect of the virus would leave her unable to participate in athletics, which she loved.
Mom graduated from Waldport High School in 1951 and went to Portland to attend business school, where she earned a certificate in Business Studies. Gerry came back to Waldport and started working. In 1955, she met a handsome devil named Clyde George Carrick and on January 28, 1956 they were married at the Waldport Presbyterian Church.
Mom commuted to Toledo to work as a secretary at the Georgia Pacific Mill until 1959, when Clyde O. was delivered on December 16, 1959. 21 months later, mom delivered Cord J. on September 11, 1961. Gerry became a stay at home mom, chauffeuring the boys to various events such as Cub Scouts, School and Little League. Gerry and her Mom Dollie were instrumental in founding the Waldport Public Library, holding the first two cards issued. Mom was also a lifetime member of the Waldport Women of the Moose Lodge #396, becoming Senior Regent, just like her mother and sister.
Gerry returned to the workforce in 1970, when she started to work at the Lincoln County School District, working as a librarian and teachers aide in the Waldport-Yachats area. Gerry was very patient and worked with students who needed extra help. When I would visit Mom in Waldport after she retired in 1994, I was amazed at how many of her former students would come up to visit with we were grocery shopping. I could tell she had made a positive impact on their lives, and Mom is one of the big reasons why I made a career change to education.
Gerry was a proud mother of her two boys and their success, as both graduated from Waldport High School and Linfield College. Both married and blessed Mom/Dad with four grandchildren.
Once retired, Clyde and Gerry became “snowbirds”, spending the winters in Yuma, Arizona, where they made many friends. Mom found swimming in the park pool helpful, as it helped her with the damage caused by Polio and Post Polio Syndrome, which attacked the nerves in her legs. Clyde and Gerry were members of the Nostalgia Car Club of Yuma, where they participated in many parades and club activities. They also liked to go out into the desert to explore, along with going to Algadones, Mexico and the Yuma Dogtrack Flea Market.
In 2010, Clyde and Gerry resumed living in Oregon full time. They stayed home in Waldport, spending time with their sons and grandchildren. Cord lived on the property and helped to take care of the folks.
On October 11, 2016, Clyde passed away unexpectedly. Cord became the primary caregiver for Mom, allowing Mom to stay living at home. The damage done by Polio and Dementia were too much, and she died peacefully at home to be with her family and friends in Heaven on Mar 20, 2021 . Survivors include sons Clyde O. (Marie) of Eureka, CA; Cord J. of Waldport; Niece Michelle Brown of Keizer; Nephew William Beardsley (Deceased); Great Nephew Jason Smith (Sheelah) of Spring Valley, CA; Great Niece Tia Brown of Toledo; Great Niece Tamera Beardsley of Coos Bay; Great Nephew William Moorehouse of Florence; Grandaughters Faith and Sarah Carrick of Eureka, CA; Grandsons Brandon Holmes (Janie) of Vancouver, WA and Jason Carrick (Seana) of Waldport.
Special thanks to Vickey Duncan, who was instrumental in making mom’s final days in hospice comfortable; Samaritan Hospice for helping mom to live at home during her final days; and her best friend Darlene Pankey of Waldport, who talked daily with her best friend of 75 years.
Gerry was cremated and her ashes were scattered with her husband Clyde’s on the grounds of their 10 acre spread.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday October 2nd, 2021 at the Waldport Moose Lodge from 1-3 PM, where Gerry was a lifetime member. All those who knew and loved Gerry are invited to attend. NOTE: Wearing of masks and social distancing is required indoors, per Governor Brown’s directive to stop the spread of Covid 19.
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