Geraldine Constance (Temin) Brown Wilkerson
January 8, 1929 – March 12, 2015
Geraldine Constance (Temin) Brown Wilkerson, age 86, departed this life on Thursday, March 12, 2015 after inspiring all of us to appreciate the beauty of flowers and companionship of animals (especially kittens.) Her greatest joy was growing a garden to share with friends. We are thankful that Gerry has now found eternal peace.
She was born and raised on a poultry farm in Milford, on the banks of Abbotts Mill Pond on January 8, 1929. Gerry was the middle of three daughters of the late Jerry Temin and Henrietta Marie Dvorsky Temin, both émigrés from Czechoslovakia. Gerry, named after her father, enjoyed childhood summers at Slaughter Beach, horseback riding her Tennessee Walkers and spending time with her Great Danes.
Gerry was an accomplished student. She was a graduate of Milford High School, and spent her free time with best friend, Millie Romeo. In 1946, she was chosen as a Delaware delegate to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. Gerry graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1952 from University of Tennessee at Memphis, and later obtained post-graduate degrees including her Masters in Nursing from University of Delaware. Gerry truly enjoyed her career working with children as a School Nurse at Greenville Elementary School, North Star, and HB DuPont Middle School. Gerry also worked overnight shifts as a Private Duty Nurse.
Gerry lived through the Great Depression and WWII. She was commissioned into the United States Army Nurse Corps in 1953 as a Second Lieutenant, making her the third member of her family to join. After serving honorably in the Armed Forces, Gerry returned to Delaware, married the late L. John Brown and started her civilian nursing career at Milford Memorial Hospital, working along with her Mother, also a Registered Nurse. Gerry loaded up her horses and many animals and moved up north to a farm in Wilmington in 1954. Shortly after that, her daughter Temin Amelia was born, who loved to “ride” the ponies as well as the large Great Danes.
At a Halloween party in 1964, Gerry went on a blind date set up by best friend Kathleen Lloyd and fell in love with her late second husband, Alvin Ray Wilkerson, Jr. (A. Ray). Their families blended, and they were blessed with their daughter, Ann Rinear.
When Gerry retired from school nursing, she continued tirelessly volunteering with the Delaware Division of Public Health Immunization program as well as with the Delaware State Hospital. Gerry selflessly volunteered her medical skills throughout her life to strangers and friends alike. Gerry saved multiple lives throughout her life, administering lifesaving CPR to a stranger in a market and to a friend at a Wilmington Manor Lions Club event, earning her one of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from the Lions Club for her courage.
When she was not gardening, she loved to play bridge and pinochle, especially with her great friend Helen Hannan. Among many social clubs, Gerry belonged to the Lady Elks, BPOE Lodge #2281, Swanwyck Garden Club, Moose Lodge #1578, Post-Cana Groups.
In the last years of her life, Gerry met and fell in love with John R. Arrowsmith, Jr. (MSgt., USAF, Ret.) Gerry and Jack were married on Valentine’s Day and enjoyed many adventures together. Jack was a great companion to Gerry, and she cherished every moment that were together.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sisters Marjorie Ann Temin Hawkins (John) and Dorothy D. Temin Grayson (Ben), husband, L. John Brown, husband, A. Ray Wilkerson, Jr., and a son Ted Ray Wilkerson. Gerry is survived by her husband, John; daughter, Temin Carroll Amelia Wilkerson (Steve), grandson, Stephen James Carroll and granddaughter, Megan Kathleen Carroll; daughter, Ann Rinear Wilkerson Dougherty (Charles), granddaughters, Rinear Cecelia Dougherty and Antonia Rae Dougherty; son, George Herman Wilkerson (Jeanie), grandchildren, Yvonne Marjorie Wilkerson Taylor, Joel Ray Wilkerson, Brian George Wilkerson, Jessica Jean Wilkerson and Kimberley Dahl Wilkerson Penz (Mark); devoted nephew, John Victor Hawkins, Jr. (Sheila); and many cousins.
The family would like to acknowledge the loving care provided by Christiana Hospital, Seasons Hospice, ManorCare Pike Creek and Homewatch Caregivers.
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 2 pm until 4 pm on Sunday afternoon, March 22, 2015 at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle. A funeral service will be held at 12 Noon on Monday, March 23, 2015, at the New Castle Presbyterian Church, 25 E. 2nd Street, New Castle. Interment with military honors will follow in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, 15411 Abbotts Pond Rd, Milford, DE 19963.