Genevieve “Jenny” K. Gelder, 1934 - 2017


Gelder Obit Pic

Genevieve “Jenny” K. Gelder, 83, formerly of The Villages, Florida and of Augusta, Maine, died in Auburn, Maine, on Thursday, August 31, 2017.  Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 4, 1934, the daughter of Britton and Jessie Campbell Kendrick, she was educated in Ohio schools and was a 1952 graduate of Middletown High School.  Jenny received a Bachelors of Arts degree from the College of Wooster, with honors in Speech and Debate, and later earned a Masters Degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. 


Jenny married Ralph H. Gelder on September 1, 1956. Together they completed their post-graduate educations while raising a young family. Their adventures took them from Ohio to Berkeley, California, and from Staten Island, New York, and then to Florham Park, New Jersey, where Jenny taught middle-school English.  In the early 70’s, they settled in Augusta, Maine to raise their four children.  During this time Jenny worked as a real-estate agent, and held several positions in the State of Maine, including Auditor, as well as Director of the Maine State Housing Authority.


Weekends in Maine were spent at the treasured Gelder Camp on Cobboseecontee Lake where Jenny planted a perennial garden that is still flourishing each year.  In the early 90’s they uprooted from their New England homestead, moving to Destin, Florida, aspiring to found their own business—Emerald Coast Association Management, a vibrant family company still in existence today.  In retirement, they moved to The Villages, Florida, where Jenny resided until returning to Maine this past year.  Ralph died shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006.


An enthusiast of history and literature, she savored writings from a diverse collection of authors and scholars.  She was a talented classical pianist and organist, often volunteering at local church events.  She dedicated summers to the outdoors tending her garden, and winters indoors sewing home decor.  While in Florida, Jenny delighted in golf, which she continued to play until recently. From the time she was a young teen, Jenny had a passion for raising collies and border collies, each one adored for their unique features. 


She is survived by four children and their spouses: Jay Gelder and Lisa Bouchard Gelder of Destin, Florida; Chris Gelder and Anita Charles of Auburn, Maine; Melissa Gelder Fearon and Randy Fearon of Whitman, Massachusetts; Leslie Gelder Seay and David Seay of Versailles, Kentucky.  She is also survived by her brother, Talton “Todd” Kendrick of Texas, and ten grandchildren: Keith Fearon, Justin Gelder, Lindsey Gelder, Riley Fearon, Duncan Gelder, Midhun Gelder, Cameron Gelder, Emily Seay, Devki Gelder, Malvika Gelder.   She leaves behind her deeply cherished companion, Glyn the border collie.


Visitation will be held at the Albert & Burpee Funeral Home, Lewiston, on Wednesday, September 6, from 4 - 6 PM, followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 6 PM. Donations may be made in her memory to Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice Services, 15 Strawberry Avenue, Lewiston, ME 04240. 




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© Gerald Burpee 2016