Georgette Lavina Person, age 91 and a resident of Houston for 48 years, passed away suddenly on 26 July 2021. Born in Pacific Grove, CA, she was the only child of Georgette LaVigna Hendricks and Merle F. Hendricks. A millwright, her father's work took the family to WI, TN and back to CA. Georgette completed high school in 1946 at the age of 16 at Oak Ridge, TN. Oak Ridge is known as the Atomic City or Secret City. During WWII, Oak Ridge served as the production site for nuclear material required by the Manhattan Project.
After WWII, Georgette and her parents returned to Monterrey, CA. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health at the University of California Berkley in January 1951. During college, Georgette met a handsome Navy sailor, Ross Person, while roller skating. In 1951, Ross was accepted to the Naval Aviation Cadet School in Pensacola, FL. He earned his wings and was commissioned as an Ensign. Late in 1952, Georgette traveled east by train from California to Texas. She and Ross were married at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Chapel. As a Navy couple, they moved to numerous duty stations, including: Kingsville, TX (3 times); Alameda, CA; Memphis, TN; Philadelphia, PA; Brooklyn, NY; San Diego, CA; and Ewa Beach, HI. After 22 years of Navy service, Ross retired and moved the family to Houston, TX to start a second career.
Georgette worked as a laboratory technologist in San Jose, CA before marrying. In Kingsville, she was a junior high school substitute teacher. Always in high demand, Mrs. Person could teach well and keep order in the classroom. Georgette was an accomplished bowler with a lifetime average of 170 plus and once bowled a perfect game of 300. As an empty nester, Georgette went back to school to recertify her laboratory technology credentials in Texas. In 1978, she started working in a diagnostic laboratory in the Saint Joseph Professional Building and then Memorial City Hospital laboratory as a microbiologist, retiring in 1995.
Always offering her time and talent, Georgette volunteered at Navy Relief and Planned Parenthood. She was a Girl Scout leader several times during her Navy days. In Houston, Georgette was a member of Pines Presbyterian Church for 37 years. She served on the session with a primary interest in benevolences and out reach. As a life long lover of flowers and plants, she was a member of the Spring Shadows Garden Club. Georgette became a Harris County Master Gardener at Bear Creek, maintaining her certification way into her 80s. Georgette was a long time volunteer at The Women's Home of Houston in their Craft/Marketing group. Georgette planned and lead day trips on Harris County buses for the over 50 crowd (Sojourners) at Pines Presbyterian and later did the same for the Harris County Master Gardeners. Ross and Georgette traveled extensively throughout Central and North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Georgette continued to travel with her daughter, Cheryl.
Georgette had a welcoming smile, loved to give hugs and was a great listener, wife, mother and grandmother. Georgette was a fabulous seamstress, great cook, superb home entertainer and even a better pie baker. She instilled in her children and grandchildren a love of cooking, good food and fellowship.
Georgette was preceded in death by her parents and Ross, her loving husband of 54 years. She is survived by: her daughter, Cheryl LeBlanc and husband Louis of Rome, GA; son David and wife Johnnie of League City, TX. Georgette is also survived by her grandchildren: David LeBlanc and wife Annie of Sherman Oaks, CA; Sam LeBlanc of Rome, GA; and Michael LeBlanc of Fayetteville, AR as well as by numerous relatives from the Person family.
In her memory and in lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to an organization that Georgette supported: The Women's Home, 607 Westheimer Road Houston, TX 77006; Pines Presbyterian Church,12751 Kimberley Lane, Houston, TX 77024; or Skills for Life/DIGS, P.O. Box 1053, Rome, GA 30162 (a support group for adults with autism).
Georgette's family would like to extend their profound gratitude to Sister Vinflora Onije, Vangie Flores, Sherry Laughlin, Mebrat Akalu, Maxine Oldham, the Pines Study Group and church family as well as Georgette's friends and neighbors. Georgette lived life to the fullest and independently. A celebration of life will be postponed until all can gather safely.