Geraldine “Jerry” Wilma Fosnaugh, Signal Hill city clerk Kathee Pacheco’s mother, passed away quietly in her sleep on December 14th. The 90-year-old great-great grandmother is survived by her husband Harland, daughter Kathee, son-in-law Al, three grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren.
“My mother was my mentor, my inspiration, and my best friend. Her compassion and love nurtured me through my difficult times. She gave me hope and encouragement when I needed it most,” said Kathee.
Jerry grew up on an Iowa farm, and as a teenager went to work at her aunt’s millinery shop, making hats. She married in her teens, and not too long after gave birth to her first child, Shirley Joann. When Shirley was six-months old, Jerry divorced her husband, moved to Long Beach and married a young sailor named John Meyer. Kathee was born in August of 1945, while her father was on a minesweeper somewhere fighting overseas.
Jerry had such a knack for sewing that she made most of her girls’ clothes. Oftentimes, she remade Shirley’s clothes to fit Kathee. To make ends meet, Jerry took a series of jobs, including telegram delivery girl and ceramic factory worker, eventually working as a sales girl in a local dress shop chain. It wasn’t long before she advanced to store manager.
Jerry and John divorced in 1957. In July of 1962, she married family friend Stan Biddle. They enjoyed a comfortable life going fishing on their boat, vacationing and entertaining family and friends until Stan passed away in1987.
Jerry met Harland while playing a game of cards at her brother’s house. They married in August of 1990. Jerry and Harland enjoyed touring the country in their motor home. When not traveling they worked on craft projects together.
Above all, she was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great-great grandmother. “She always said, ‘If you really want something there is no limit to what you can achieve’. I was so lucky to share so much of my life with her and she was everything a mother could be and more,” said Kathee.