Geri Ferreira passed away peacefully at her home in Willits on Thursday, November 22, 2012, ending her battle with cancer. Born in Santa Cruz to Merle and Astrid Okerstrom on December 5, 1942, Geri was just 4 years old when her family moved to Branscomb to begin their life in Mendocino County.
Geri grew up in Branscomb and Laytonville. She attended Branscomb Elementary School and graduated from Laytonville High School in the Class of 1960. She also attended Santa Rosa Junior College, where she studied business and accounting.
Her son, Greg, was born in 1963, followed by son Darren in 1967.
She worked at State Farm Insurance in Santa Rosa for many years. Then in 1976, Merle and Astrid and her brother, Steven, asked Geri to join them in working for the family business, Okerstrom Logging. Geri and her boys moved back to Mendocino County, and over the next 22 years she ran the office and helped manage Okerstrom Logging.
Geri was working and living in Fort Bragg when she met the love of her life, Russell Ferreira. They married in 1979. Russell's daughter, Dawn Ferreira made the family complete, and they spent many happy years raising their three teenagers and young adults. They moved to Willits, where they worked together to create a beautiful home and setting for many family gatherings and celebrations.
When Russell passed away, Geri was profoundly saddened and missed him every day for the rest of her life. Geri loved her family intensely. She was a wonderful cook and loved to garden. She was happiest being at home, tending her garden and cooking for family holidays. She also was an avid reader and followed politics with great interest.
Geri was especially enchanted when presented with two grandchildren: Greg's daughter, Kaeley Shelton, and Dawn's son, Walker Ferreira.
In her youth, she was a masterful trumpet player in the Laytonville High School Band, and she could play the piano with ease. She was active in sports, student government and starred in many high school plays. She maintained many friendships from LHS, and in recent years enjoyed getting together with her old friends once a year during the Laytonville Old-timer's Weekend.
Geri was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Russell Ferreira, and her parents, Merle and Astrid Okerstrom. She is survived by her sons, Greg Myers of Willits and Darren Ferreira (Debra) of Ukiah; Dawn Ferreira (Tim) of Fort Bragg; grandchildren Kaeley Shelton and Walker Ferreira. She also is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Steven and Rita Okerstrom of Willits; sister Elizabeth Murguia of Eureka; and nephews Todd McMahon and Ryan and Sean Okerstrom.
Finally, Geri was cared for at home over the past several weeks by her son, Greg, with the aid of Phoenix Hospice and local caregivers.
It was Geri's wish to be cremated and have her ashes spread with Russell's in a nearby redwood forest. A family memorial will be held Sunday, December 2.