Geraldine 'Geri' Ellen Cantwell, 81 of Cottonwood died on Tuesday, October 19th at the Verde Valley Medical Center.
Geri was born on May 16, 1929 in Long Beach, California. Her father, Russel Bacon, a Chief Manufacturing Engineer for Shell Oil Company, and mother, Irene were living in Long Beach at that time. A few years after her sister's birth in 1932, the family moved to Martinez, California where she attended grade school. Later, during World War II, they moved to Berkeley where she graduated from high school. After high school, Geri attended San Jose State University while her father continued to help give leadership at Shell Oil.
In 1950, Shell Oil transferred her father to England. On New Year's Eve the family left the Bay Area by train to New York. Once there, they boarded the Queen Mary and sailed to England. Geri and her sister were then sent to a girls' school in Switzerland. In 1951, Geri's college sweetheart, Kenneth Kendall, sailed to England and they were married. The couple honeymooned on the return trip to the states and settled in Cupertino, California.
In Cupertino, Ken and Geri enjoyed the births of three boys, Shawn, Kern, Kim and one daughter Tami.
The family relocated to Prescott, Arizona in the early 1960's and another son, Troy, was born. She later remarried, Edward Cantwell of Prescott and introduced two more beautiful baby girls to the world, Kelli and Jodi.
From 1960-1962, Geri hosted a morning radio show for ladies on KNOT in Prescott. Known as "Kathy KNOT," Geri's show highlighted cooking, sewing and other women's interests. She also enjoyed many years working for the United States Postal Service. Between 1967 and 1992, Geri and Ed built, owned and operated many bars in Prescott. They owned Larry's Buffet on Cortez Street from 1967 to 1974. They then built the Boiler Room on Montezuma (now known as Sundance's). After that they owned Ray's Tavern on Swensen Street, then Bruno's on Miller Valley Rd until 1992. Geri was extremely artistic, designing jewelry and creating spectacular pieces of stained glass. In 1985, Geri moved to Cottonwood where she lived until her passing. Geri was an extraordinary Mom, Grandma, Great-Grandma, Sister, Aunt and Friend.
Geri is survived by seven beloved children. Son, Shawn Kendall of Phoenix; son, Kern Kendall and daughter-in-law, Connie of Prescott, Arizona; son, Kim Kendall and daughter-in-law, Nancy of Phoenix, Arizona; daughter, Tami Franquero and son-in-law Harold of Cottonwood, Arizona; son, Troy Kendall, and daughter- in-law, Lois, of Tacoma, Washington; daughter, Kelli Oliver of Princeton, Texas; and daughter Jodi Nestrick and son-in-law, H.L., of Allen, Texas. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, sister, Coni Thompson, of Ojai, California; niece, Stacy Treanor and husband, Jeff, of Saugus, California; and three grand nephews.
Geri was a breast cancer survivor. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Phoenix.
A private family memorial service was held in Geri's honor at the home of her daughter Tami and son in law Harold's in Cottonwood on October 21, 2010 to celebrate her life. Hampton Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements. Please visit www.hamptonfuneralhome.com to sign Geri's guest book.
Information provided by survivors.