Geraldine Leamon (née Bland) was born a Yorkshirewoman on December 12, 1941 in Batley, England, to John and Doreen Bland (née Brook), but did not meet her father until 1944 when he returned from the North African campaign.
As a girl Geraldine attended Gregory Street School with her brother (David) Ian Bland before successfully sitting the national 11+ examinations two months after her tenth birthday, which admitted her to Batley Girls Grammar School. At BGGS Geraldine, while captaining the school field hockey, tennis and netball teams, developed her love of languages and French in particular. As a teenager she participated in a student exchange with her French penpal, the first of many visits throught her life to the country whose language, literature, music and culture she adored. Her talent for languages led her first to the University of Leeds where she studied French and Russian, then on to a Masters at Texas Tech and postgraduate studies at the University of Texas, Austin where her chosen research field was Medieval French Literature, focusing on the works of Marguerite de Navarre in the early 16th century. Not only was Geraldine a talented linguist but she was also a first class teacher, communicating her passion for languages and literature to students of all ages, including adults, in both England and the US.
Geraldine married Tom Barton Leamon in Lancashire, England on July 1, 1967 and over the years repeatedly reoriented her studies and career path as his appointments led them from England to Chicago to Texas and finally to Massachusetts. Throughout their travels around the world, she continuously made new friends as business colleagues and students alike, responded to her open mindedness and interest in them, their personal circumstances and life styles.
A fierce Democrat and supporter of gender equality, she devoted much of her time in recent years to completing the NYT crossword each morning, exercising her faithful Oscar and avidly tuning into MSNBC each evening - unless she was completing jigsaws with her daughter and granddaughters, often staying up late into the night to do so. Her love for, commitment to and pride in her children, Amanda, Jonathan and Genevieve, were matched only by her love for her grandchildren, Amalia, Annie, Sophie and Anthony, who are deeply missing their Mum, "Grama" and Grandma America.
While expressing her love of life in the Berkshires, she would inevitably bemoan the lack of access to the ocean, a longing developed from childhood holidays at the beaches of the often grey North Sea and later from youthful sojourns on the blue Mediterranean.
Her ashes will be committed to the Atlantic at a family remembrance gathering late in June. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.
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