Geraldine (Geri) Norton Tatum was born May 28, 1923, in the little farming community of Kent, Ore., to James (JE) and Violet Norton. She died Jan. 7, 2017.
Geri had a twin brother, Eugene, older sister, Alta and older brother, Cecil Norton. Her mother passed away when she was only four. Her father, JE, then married Mildred Ross, a local school teacher. That union gave Geri another sister, Carole, and brothers Ross and Wiley.
Geri attended all 12 grades at the school in Kent, where she met the love of her life, Robert Tatum.
They married a few months before he left to serve World War II. When he came home they eventually moved to the farm in Kent, where they raised their three children; Bonnie, Jim and Bill.
Geri grew up working in her father’s general store and post office in Kent. She went to business school in Portland, Ore., where she excelled. After she was married, she returned to Kent.
During her busy years of raising her family, helping with harvest, gardening, etc., she also became involved with AFS, a high school student foreign exchange program, played the piano at the Kent Baptist Church, taught Sunday school and was a member of the women’s auxiliary. She also volunteered at the Sherman County Museum. She was a mentor to several people in the community, helping them grow in their Christian walk. She was a lifelong reader and when she moved to The Dalles in 2004, she volunteered in Bonnie’s second grade classroom helping children with their reading skills.
She was preceded in death by her brothers; Eugene and Cecil, sister; Alta, mothers; Violet and Mildred, father; JE Norton, husband; Robert Tatum and sons; Jim and Bill and nephew James.
She is survived by her daughter Bonnie and husband Bill Shupe and granddaughters Kim Stewart and her daughter Kendall; Serena and husband Terry Fink and their children Chloe, Micah and Caleb; Shannon Devlaeminck and her son Joseph; Heather and her husband Eli Cox and their sons Chase and Cody.
She is also survived by her son Bill’s wife Laurie Tatum; granddaughter Marci and her husband Daniel Wattenburger and their children; Anna and Nolan; grandson Ryan Tatum and his wife Jessica and their children Mackenzie, Kyle, Brevan, Elena, Amelia, William and Tia; and Jim’s son Devan Tatum. She had 15 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Carole and husband Ron Putman their children John, Kathy and Karla; brother Ross Norton and sister-in-law Chris their children, David, Diana and Daniel; and brother Warren Wiley Norton and sister-in-law Evelyn their children Beth and Amy; other survivors include her sister Alta’s daughter Connie Sutton, husband George and their son Colin; and her twin brother Eugene’s daughters, Celia Walker and her son Bob; Nancy Delong, and her daughter Lisa; and great nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Kent Baptist Church on Jan. 21, at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow. Anyone wishing to contribute may do so to the Sherman County Museum, 200 Dewey Street, Moro, Ore., 97039.
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