Geraldine Stroup

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Geraldine "Gerry" Stroup, 90, of Cape Girardeau, a well-known teacher and lifelong resident of Southeast Missouri, passed away Saturday, March 5, 2011, surrounded by family.

She began her teaching career in 1938, teaching all eight elementary grades in a one-room school in Millersville. She was 18 years old at the time. Mrs. Stroup retired from teaching in 1983, but continued her contact with a wide variety of people, including many associated with education. Nearly every time she went out in public, Mrs. Stroup would be recognized by friends, former students or colleagues.

Mrs. Stroup was born in 1920 in St. Louis, to Claude Forest and Minnie Hadock McLane of Lowndes, Mo. She was the 1938 valedictorian at Greenville High School. She also taught grade school while attending Southeast Missouri State University. She earned a bachelor of science degree in vocational home economics in 1944. She continued her graduate study at the University of Missouri and at Colorado State University in 1948.

During her long career, Mrs. Stroup taught grade school in Lowndes and Advance, Mo., and home economics in the Benton, Mo., public schools; she taught adult education in the Benton district. She also started and developed the vocational department in the Benton schools.

While raising her family she served as district manager for Field Enterprises Educational Corp., an encyclopedia publisher. She joined the staff of Oran, Mo., High School in 1974 and taught home economics until her retirement nine years later.

She married Thomas B. Stroup in 1949 in Advance, and the couple made their home in Benton 51 years. He served 38 years with the University of Missouri Extension Service until his death in 1991.

Mrs. Stroup was a 50-year member of Chapter CX of PEO at Chaffee, Mo.; a 50-year member of Eastern Star in Advance; and a 51-year member of the United Methodist Church in Benton, where she was district adviser for UMY and a Sunday school teacher 13 years.

She received the Outstanding Secondary Educators of America Award for personal, professional and academic achievement in 1975. She started the Future Homemakers of America chapter at Chaffee High School and received an FHA Distinguished Service Award in 1969. She was a 4-H leader six years, and was president of the Federated Women's Club when it launched the first private kindergarten in Benton.

A charter member of Professional Home Economists, Mrs. Stroup also was an active member of Missouri Retired Teachers Association, serving as president and committee member of the SEMO Chapter.

Mrs. Stroup became a member of La Croix United Methodist Church when she moved to Saxony Village in Cape Girardeau in 2000.

She is survived by three daughters, Judy (Richard) Purcell of Highlands Ranch, Colo. Jana (Bruce) Jateff of Cape Girardeau, Joyce Tummins Evans of White Bluff, Tenn.; eight grandchildren, Amory Lockwood, Claire Lockwood, Laura Arledge, Rebecca Reseigh, McLane Barber, Lindsey Jateff, Kelly James, Clay Tummins; five great-grandchildren, Caden Bailey, Jack Barber, Gage Barber, Gracie Barber and Brayden Reseigh.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two sisters and two brothers.

Mrs. Stroup's favorite quote was, "When it's all over, it's not who you were, what you did, or how much money you had. It's whether you touched anyone and made a difference."

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to service time Saturday at La Croix United Methodist Church.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church, with the Rev. Rob Mehner officiating. Burial will be in Morgan Memorial Park Cemetery in Advance.

Memorials may be made in her honor to La Croix United Methodist Church, Care of Missions Fund, 3102 Lexington Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, or Benton United Methodist Church, 11 Chester Street, Benton, MO 63736.

Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Chaffee is in charge of arrangements.