Former Chelmsford Woman Recalled as 'Champion for Equal Rights'
Gerry O'Neal Hoye was a United States Navy Veteran, serving as an air controller in Florida.
Wife, mother, champion for equal rights in the workplace and a U.S. Navy Veteran, Gerry O'Neal Hoye of Lantana, Florida, formerly of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 18, 2014.
Born in Kilgore, Texas on November 9, 1933, Gerry was the daughter of the late Spurgeon and Jonsye O'Neal. Her father's profession saw the family relocate frequently to communities in East and West Texas, New Mexico and Tennessee. Anxious to see more of the world, Gerry joined the U.S. Navy in 1953. While serving as an air controller with the WAVES in Pensacola, Florida she met her future husband, Jack Hoye.
After a whirlwind courtship, Jack and Gerry were married on September 24, 1955, moving to Arlington, Massachusetts to raise their growing family and later settling in Chelmsford. Gerry immersed herself in raising her family and was active in politics, organizing and campaigning for local candidates.
She was a superb cook and enjoyed introducing her New England family and friends to Tex-Mex cuisine, a novel concept in the 1960s. Catching the golf bug from Jack, Gerry became a strong player and enjoyed many rounds at Nabnasset Lake Country.
In addition to her husband, Gerry is survived by four children; Linda Roark (Frank) of Chelmsford, Massachusetts; John (Cynthia) of San Jose, California; James (Diane) of Wrentham, Massachusetts; and Daniel of Lantana, Florida. She also leaves behind uncles, Neill Walker and his wife Sue of Lubbock, Texas and COL (retired) Leslie A. Smith and wife Pollyanna of Concord, New Hampshire and Summerfield, Florida; siblings Jan Van Austen of Tucson, Arizona and Michael O'Neal of Richmond, Virginia; brother-in-law George Hoye of Harwich, Massachusetts, sister-in-law Francis Hoye of Cumberland, Maine and Naples, Florida; cousins Susan Smith (Michael Maulden) of Grass Valley, California and Lesley Smith (Mark Abramczyk) of Durham, New Hampshire; six grandchildren; a great-granddaughter and the fabulous and beloved Walker clan of Lubbock and Tahoka, Texas.
Contributions in Gerry's memory may be made to the American Heart Association.