Geraldine Ruth Lawler Castle, beloved mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away on February 17, 2021.
Geraldine, or “Gerry” as many friends and family knew her, was born August 2, 1932, to the late Mark and Mildred (McCool) Lawler. Gerry was an active child who loved her pets, especially her pet cat, Blackie Boo, and duck, Kimpy that escorted her home from Messick each day. Gerry loved to travel even though money was scarce following the Great Depression and through WWII. Despite their circumstances, Gerry’s parents still found a way to see America. Traveling by train was one of her fondest memories – keeping the tracks hot from Memphis to St.Louis. Her father worked for Missouri Pacific (Southern) which made it possible for them to travel. The family travelled to New York City and Washington, D.C., which at that time, was a trip of a lifetime where Gerry saw the Statue of Liberty and the monuments in Washington, of which she still had small, cherished mementos she fondly kept in her home.
Gerry was a proud Messick Panther and went on to become a Memphis State Tiger. She was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority at Memphis State College, and she loyally served as chapter secretary during her college years. Studying secretarial science, Gerry’s sharp skills led her to a career of working for some of the top executives in Memphis including Harry B. Gunther of Mid-South Chemical which later became Agrico Chemical Co. Mr. Gunther valued her attention to detail, astute intelligence and professionalism, and it often led him to consult with her on many important decisions. Gerry’s work made a lasting impression in the agricultural supply industry and river transportation of agricultural inputs by barge throughout the country.
After her first retirement, Gerry later became executive secretary to the finance office at Second Presbyterian Church and personal secretary to the senior minister.
During high school, Gerry’s close cousin, Gail, introduced her to the love of her life, Andrew Ray Castle. They were married in 1954 and welcomed their daughter Marcia in 1956. Gerry and Ray made a wonderful home for their daughter in the warm and lively community of Fox Meadows.
While Gerry loved her career, upon her final retirement, she felt a spiritual pull to her church and to friendships she had not been able to serve and foster during her working years and subsequent caretaking years for her husband.
In Collierville United Methodist Church, Gerry found a strong sense of community and became an active member of her Sunday school class and the Senior Adult Ministries (S.A.M.) program. Gerry was a regular at the S.A.M. luncheons and enjoyed many excursions around the Mid-South with her S.A.M. group.
One of her most recent accomplishments was walking across Big River Crossing, the Harahan Bridge – twice! Once with family and once with her church group who fondly recalled how hard it was to keep up with her.
Gerry could frequently be spotted around town, always by her daughter’s side, and always “along for the ride.” She and Marcia shared a special bond.
Her great love of dogs and animals was evident in the care she gave the family pets throughout the years and the organizations she supported for the care of animals in need.
Gerry was preceded in death by her parents, Mark and Mildred (McCool) Lawler, and her husband of 49 years, Andrew Ray Castle.
She is survived, greatly loved, and will be deeply missed by her daughter, Marcia Castle Mohundro (Danny), and granddaughter, Amy Mohundro Sarkissian (Ara). She leaves behind several cousins across the country that truly loved her and enjoyed receiving her beautifully handwritten, personal notes and cards in the mail.
She is also survived by her beloved border collie, Annie, which she always worked into conversation one way or another.
A private, family-only service will be held at Memphis Funeral Home (Poplar) on Friday, March 5 with interment at Memorial Park. Funeral services may be viewed via livestream through the Memphis Funeral Home Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MemphisFuneral.
Due to the pandemic, a celebration of life will be held at a later date when family and friends can safely gather.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes memorial contributions be made to Collierville United Methodist Church, Attn: S.A.M (454 West Poplar Ave. Collierville, TN 38017)., All 4s Rescue League (www.all4srescue.com; P.O. Box 384, Arlington, TN 38002), or any animal rescue group of your choice.