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Geraldine Jacqueline Spradlin Wingo

May 17, 1930 — December 13, 2023

New Orleans

Geraldine Jacqueline Spradlin Wingo

Geraldine Jacqueline Spradlin Wingo, 93, known to friends as “Gerry,” of New Orleans, passed on Wednesday, December 13, at her residence in Chateau de Notre Dame.

Gerry was born May 17, 1930, in the rural community of Rocky Mount in Meriwether County, Georgia, the daughter of Beatrice “Berry” Spradlin. Growing up during the Great Depression was challenging for her family, including the children, as everyone worked hard to sustain themselves.  She spoke of picking cotton in the hot Georgia summers and how the children would have to consolidate their pickings to meet the 100-pound minimum.

Gerry was a good student and enjoyed education.  One elementary school memory was her class standing outside their school and waving at President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he rode by enroute to his retreat at Warms Springs, GA. During her teenage years she worked in the local cotton mills and remembered the day World War II ended that everyone was released from work to celebrate. She said the church bells rang and the people went to their places of worship to express their gratitude the war was over.

As a young woman she worked as a waitress in LaGrange, Georgia, and there met her future husband, Thomas “Tom” Wingo.  They married March 12, 1949 in LaGrange. Shortly thereafter they moved to Texas where Tom worked the oil fields. In Texas, two children were born, Mary and Tom, Jr. Later, the oilfield work carried them to Louisiana where they lived in Lake Charles, Houma, Hammond and Loranger. In Louisiana, three children came, Jeff, Jean and Doug. During the years in the Hammond area they had a farm with cattle and thousands of chickens. 

Gerry was gifted with numerous talents, but her favorite pass times besides family were quilting, gardening and flowers.  She earned numerous awards for her quilts having learned as a child at the knee of her grandmother, Bessie Hayes Spradlin. Her gardens were large and were considered a means to feed her family.  Gerry enjoyed growing orchids and was very gifted as she understood the dedication required to grow the delicate flowers. She was a gifted seamstress who made her daughter's school clothes, plus, Barbie doll clothes and wedding dresses for generations of young women. People knew her for her 'can do' attitude and determination to complete projects.

Tom's oilfield work kept him away half the time, but Gerry raised five children, managed the farm, and cooked all homemade meals from fruits, vegetables, and meats the family raised, caught or gathered. She was an amazing cook and gladly accepted challenges to try new recipes. One of her great accomplishments was seeing each of her children earn college degrees as she was a strong advocate for education.

Her husband, Tom, Sr., predeceased her, having passed in 2001.

Gerry is survived by her five children, Mary (Farley) Kirby, of Helena, AL, Tom (Olenda) Wingo, of Madisonville, Jeff (Melanie) Wingo, of Leavenworth, KS, Jean Carnal, of Metairie, and Doug (A’Sonya) Wingo, of Ponchatoula. She has 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Surviving siblings are three sisters, Ruth Durham, of Woodville, TX, Beth Ashbaugh of Alvaton, GA, and Patsy Scully of Thomasville, GA, and one brother, Doug Kelley of Byron, GA.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home

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