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Geraldine (Steffensen) Lounsbury


1934 - 2020
Geraldine (Steffensen) Lounsbury Obituary
Geraldine Steffensen Lounsbury passed away at age 85 on Jan. 16, 2020, in her daughter's home, surrounded by family.
Geraldine "Jeri" was born to Albert and Della Steffensen on Dec. 19, 1934, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The youngest of four, she lived her early years traveling due to her father's employment as a heavy equipment operator. Eventually, the family settled in Portland, Oregon.
In high school, Jeri was given the nickname "Star" because of her athletic abilities. She was a true tomboy at heart and loved sharing tales of her adventures as an adolescent. She would recall how she would impress her classmates in gym by running up the wall and into a backflip; or an occasion where while showing her parents how she could stand up on the handlebars of her bicycle while going down the road, she badly skinned her knees. She would frustrate her older sister who had been taking ballet, because without training, Jeri could walk around the house on the knuckles of her toes, no steel-toed pointe slippers needed.
Her marriage to William Wright resulted in her first four children: Jeff, Deline, Candy and Brent. Years later, she met Joe Lounsbury (whom she would later call "the love of her life"), while watching the play "ByeByeBirdie" at a theater in Forest Grove, Oregon. After hearing Joe's contagious laughter a few seats away, Jeri knew they had to meet. They married in Portland in 1966, and returned to Joe's home in Fairbanks, where they had a son, John Jr., and then daughter, Rachael.
Jeri had an innate ability to pick up languages and mimic accents and loved learning different cultures. You would often hear her giving orders in Spanish or Russian around the house. Her interest even led her to take a Russian language course at UAF in her later years. Fun times were had hearing her arguing and defending the many successes of Genghis Khan with her grandson. She could also often be heard educating her grandchildren on the correct pronunciation and etymology of different words. She loved music and possibly missed her calling, as she could often be heard singing an old Broadway tune from the laundry room or kitchen.
Her home was a focal point and fun central for all the kids' friends. Jeri figured the best way to keep her kids around the house was to allow all their friends over as often as they'd like. They would always stop by, asking if Jeri had made a fresh batch of her famed "ZOOM" chocolate cookies. One friend assumed they were named such because of how they always ZOOMed off the plate!
Jeri was a known animal lover. Over the years she had many dogs, cats, horses, rodents, reptiles and birds of all sorts. Of course, her most beloved pet over the years was her dog Coboka (meaning "dog" in Russian) whom she even wrote and illustrated a book about.
Jeri was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Della Steffensen; brother Bill; and sister Shirley. She is survived by her children Jeff Wright (Evelyn), Deline Laughlin (Keven), Candy Laiti (Jim), Brent Wright, John Lounsbury Jr. and Rachael Stark (Jeremy); her grandchildren Ashley, Samantha, David, Taian, Ayla, Mike, Jennifer, Brittney, Harrison, Kory, Kenya; great-grandchildren Aidan, Gavin, Margot and Sabie; and sister Louise.
The family will be having a private memorial in summer 2020. If anyone would like to share their thoughts or memories of Jeri, please use the legacy.com link provided by the News-Miner, or mail to: P.O. Box 70403 Fairbanks, AK 99707.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Mar. 9, 2020
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