of Jonesboro, AR
January 24, 1927 - May 22, 2022
Mildred Catherine Gerdes, 95, of Jonesboro, returned to the Lord and her beloved family on Sunday, May 22, 2022. She was born near Lafe, AR on January 24, 1927, to James Claiborne Stephens and Nancy Belle Beaton. She was a 1955 graduate of Arkansas State University and served as a teacher (and amateur dentist) at Bono Elementary for 30 years. She was an active member of Fisher Street United Methodist Church for all her adult life.She married Edward Grayson Gerdes on August 20, 1948, a marriage which lasted 55 years until his death. She enjoyed homemaking, fishing, genealogy, her church family and students. She loved to travel with relatives, culminating in a triumphant 1989 Holy Land trip. She was a fierce prayer warrior and she was always glad to see you.She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; brothers, James Carl, Vernon, Thelbert and Eugene; sisters, Arlene Ragle, Iva Jamison, Alma White, Wanda Gatewood Hardin, Velma Smith and Loretta Smith; and a special sister-in-law, Melva O'Neal. She leaves behind a son, Randal (Charlotte Bowers) of Jonesboro and their children, Christie and Greg; and son, Mark (Toni Barnhill) of Conway and their children, Cheyenne and Jim. She leaves her beloved great-grandchildren, Phillip Gerdes, Ben Luper, Hannah Luper, Mollie Gerdes and Grayson Gerdes, as well as a great-great grandson, Keenan Luper; a sister-in-law, Lorene Hoelscher Stephens; brother-in-law, Buddy Smith; close friend, Linda Roberts and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends close to her heart.She was blessed by caring neighbors, Alvin Green, Tim and Kim Groom, Doris Holladay and others. Special gratitude to the caregivers, Christie Gerdes, Andy White, Judy White, Greg Gerdes, Brandy Gerdes, Tammy King and the wonderful people of Elite Hospice.Chapel services will be 2 pm Thursday at Roller-Farmers Union Funeral Home, 1900 West Washington Avenue in Jonesboro with Rev. Jim Markley officiating. Burial will be private. The family requests casual attire be worn.Visitation will precede the service beginning at 1 pm.
In 1954 I was in one or two Summer Term classes with Mrs. Gerdes, but we never got acquainted. I think I may have bee a distant cousin of her husband-my father AND my son's middle name was Grayson. Dad's GM was "Dovie" Grayson. and her father was Christopher Columbus "Lum" Grayson. I think his ancestors were also from Kentucky.
Praying for your family! She was my 1st grade teacher and I loved her. She cared for all her students.
Mrs. Gerdes was my 1st grade teacher. I would see her occasionally over the years in town and it was good to talk with her. I appreciate her caring nature as a teacher making an impact on so many of her students.
Randy and Charlotte I am so sorry for the loss of Randy’s mother. I hope you all are doing well. Keeping you in my prayers.
Ms Gerdes was my first grade teacher at Bono and I have found memories of her. She was always so kind and caring. I can only hope and pray my grandchildren have teachers like her. She was a very special teacher!! Prayers for the family.
So very sorry.
We are saddened to hear the loss of Mrs. Catherine. Growing up Mr. Ed and Mrs. Catherine always let us play in their yard, it was the best on the street. My mom Doris was so privileged to help care for Mrs. Catherine. Mrs. Catherine also loved seeing and spoiling Maci and Braxton. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all
She was the most wonderful Aunt anyone could have. She found our first house for us after we were married just down the street from her. So many precious memories. We loved her and wish we could have had more time with her in the latter years l, but miles prevented it. We will miss her. Love and prayers for all the family.
She was also my first grade teacher. She taught us all alot. Such a kind, caring, and understanding person......God Bless her and bring comfort to her family.
What a beautiful soul! She was my teacher in the early 80s, and I’ve always been grateful for that. What a beautifully written obituary for a beautiful life. Praise God! I pray for special blessings for her family.
Mrs. Catherine was a Pastor's dream during the time I served at Fisher Street. We were beginning several new outreach programs into the community around the church. She was one of the first to raise her hand when it had anything to do with helping children. Tutoring program, Saturday Feeding Program, Reading to Children, etc. She gave me friendship, support and guidance that I needed and appreciated in my years in Jonesboro. I trust that by this time she has heard the words from God's lips, "Well done, good and faithful servant..."
Mrs Gerdes was one of my favorite teachers in elementary school at Bono. She will be missed by many. Prayers for the family during this difficult time.
My first grade teacher… so sweet.
Rest in life! Prayers for the family and my thoughts are with you Greg! Love you brother!!
she will be missed
She was my and my wife’s and son’s teacher. She was a wonderful person and made a difference in so many lives. RIP
Mrs. Gerdes was a blessing to so many children through her teaching Loved her and think of her often when I remember my grade school years. She was my favorite teacher of ALL. Times. 💔
Mark, Toni and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother sounded like such a wonderful person and I know she will be missed. Praying for comfort for each one of you.
She was my 4th grade teacher and taught my daughter as well. She was a precious sweet lady. Beverly Tate
Mrs. Gerdes was my first grade teacher and I loved her so much. My daddy, Bus Slaven, also served with Ed in the National Guard. They were very sweet people.She was a great teacher, and yes, I think she may have pulled one of my teeth.My condolences to the family.