Juliann “Julie” Elizabeth Jameson Geddes

Juliann Geddes

Juliann “Julie” Elizabeth Jameson Geddes, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend of many, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 11, 2023, with her children by her side after a courageous battle with cancer.

Julie was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, to loving parents Mary Minna (Abbott) and Kenneth Robert “Bob” Jameson on March 6, 1948. When Julie was 6 years old, she became the proud big sister to John Robert Jameson, her only sibling, whom she loved and adored. She enjoyed a happy childhood and was lovingly known as “Jules” to her many friends.

After graduating from Washington High School, where her mother also taught, Julie was accepted to the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha to pursue a degree in speech pathology, though she also loved music and singing. It was there that Julie met the love of her life, John Alan Geddes, and the couple was married on August 30, 1969.

As Julie would tell it, “the honeymoon lasted seven years” and both enjoyed married life in Chickasha. On April 8, 1976, Julie was blessed with her first born son, John Robert, and just a year later her daughter, Alyssa Ann, on August 20, 1977. The couple devoted their love and time to their children and motherhood would become the defining role of Julie’s life. Her days were spent designing costumes for her daughter’s musical theater programs, while peeling oranges for her son’s soccer games. She was loved by all of her children’s friends and was affectionately referred to as “everybody’s mom.” Her dedication to her children’s interests and activities was easy for Julie, and she did all of these things with a happy heart.

On Dec. 7, 1996, tragedy struck the family and Alan passed away suddenly and without warning. The inertia of their family’s core was shattered, and Julie was forced to redirect their future on her own. But her strength of character would not allow her to stumble, and she went back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Oklahoma. While finishing her few hours left to graduate, Julie worked with special needs children and was able to exercise her gift of caretaking for those children who could not help themselves. This job reignited a passion of Julie’s and would begin her life’s work of service to her community.

In 1998, Julie began working with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse as an administrative assistant and a year later was promoted to TEENLINE coordinator, where she passionately dedicated her time and attention to suicide awareness and prevention through participation in nationwide conferences, grant writing and fundraising. In 1999, she became the Senior Field Representative for Prevention, and she was a founding member of the Oklahoma Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, which was one of the first in the country to produce a state-level plan of action. Julie’s expertise in the field of youth suicide prevention was also recognized by a national expert who asked her to collaborate on an updated edition of the Lifelines trilogy, a training program used in thousands of schools around the country.

In March of this year, Julie was nominated by her co-workers for the Louis I. Dublin Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding service and contribution to the field of suicide prevention. The numerous nomination letters from her coworkers illustrate the impact of her empathetic work in her community and her tireless dedication to this cause. Her amazing capacity to love will be Julie’s lasting legacy; it is evident in the thousands of lives that were touched by her wisdom and devotion to others’ wellbeing.

Not only was Julie “everybody’s mom” and a caretaker to her community, she was “everybody’s Nana.” On June 20, 1998, her son John married Kristin Jean and in 2002, Julie earned the title of “Nana” when the first grandchild, John Collin, was born. It was a role she had been ready for her whole life. Two years later Nana welcomed another grandson, Nathan Cale, then two years later a granddaughter, Brittan Michelle, and four years later, another granddaughter, Reagan Ann.

The best word to describe Julie as a grandparent is “present.” She never missed a birthday, ballet recital, basketball game, robotics tournament or graduation and even offered herself as “chief babysitter” on Geddes family vacations to Texas and Colorado. Her grandchildren knew her as the “gamer buddy,” as she spent countless hours with a grandchild on her lap making silly faces into the camera and playing fun games on the latest apps, just to make them smile. The wisdom she shared with her daughter-in-law and other young moms was to soak up the childhood years, as they slip by in an instant.

She practiced what she preached, as her closest and truest best friend throughout all the years was her own daughter Alyssa, and the two were inseparable. Whether they were crafting with “the girls” or creating a fun sleepover for “the boys,” Julie and Alyssa were always together, rain or shine. Julie’s family grew even more when Alyssa married Justin Gilliam on March 8, 2015, and she gained a son-in-law. She embraced each new addition to the family, and she poured her time and affection into each one as if they had always been her own. Her children’s spouses became her own and even her children’s spouse’s families became her own. She truly was a mom, mother-in-law, Nana and friend to everyone who knew and loved her.

Julie’s legacy to her family will be the limitless time and unconditional love she dedicated to each one, and her amazing capacity to care more than any one heart could possibly hold. While we mourn her passing, we know that while she was here she made each moment count and savored every second she shared with all of us.

Julie is survived by son, John and wife Kristin of Edmond; grandchildren, Collin and wife Emily; Nathan, Brittan and Reagan; daughter, Alyssa and husband Justin Gilliam of Oklahoma City; brother, John Jameson and wife Astrid of Jacksonville; niece, Brett and husband Dave Gader of Rhode Island and children Emerson and Benjamin; sister-in-law, Jo and husband Paul Horton; niece, Maggie and nephew Kyle; brother-in-law, Ryan Geddes and wife Babe; nephew, Daniel; and niece, Riley. Julie is preceded in death by her loving parents, Mary Minna and Bob Jameson; her husband, John Alan Geddes; and nephew, Chisum Geddes.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 10 a.m. at North Church, 1601 W. Memorial Rd., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73134. In her memory, please consider donating to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Julie’s name at https://bit.ly/3ojJEHD.

Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Yanda & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Yukon, Oklahoma.