Cover photo for Geraldine “Gerry” Rider Fletcher's Obituary
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1927 Geraldine "Gerry" Rider Fletcher 2023

Geraldine “Gerry” Rider Fletcher

December 10, 1927 — March 16, 2023


Geraldine “Gerry” Rider Fletcher was born in her maternal grandparents home, known to the family as “the home place” in Iredell, Texas on December 10, 1927. She looked forward to her heavenly home and went there at the age of 95 on March 16, 2023.

At the age of four she moved to Opelousas with her mother, Nelle Houston Rider, and her father, John Rider. Even though they spelled their name differently, John was part of the larger Ryder family in Opelousas. She graduated from Opelousas High School and then graduated with a home economics degree from Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now known as University of Louisiana at Lafayette. There she met her husband, Walter Lee Fletcher, Jr. They honeymooned at the home place, spending time refinishing furniture for her grandmother and enjoying the farm on top of the mountain. They had three girls whom she adored. She taught home economics in Colfax, Grand Prairie, and Port Barre. She then obtained her Master’s degree in counseling and worked as a school counselor at Port Barre and T. H. Harris in Opelousas, completing 50 years in the educational field. There she helped countless students with academic pursuits and with personal problems. She went over and beyond her duties, championing the outcast, the disabled, the neglected and abused as well as encouraging and lighting a path for those seeking a better life. Even in retirement she helped those who had no one to help them. She loved learning and took a wide variety of college courses after her Master’s, up to as many as 60-90 hours of credit. She was a superb cook and introduced her girls to Bananas Foster at home, flaming the pan in a dim room for effect, dining out etiquette or how to set a proper table.  She always had a beautifully decorated table for holidays. Her culinary skills were matched with her seamstress ability. She made many dresses for her daughters and taught them all to sew. She could make a garment by making up the pattern herself and nothing looked home-made. She was a determined independent woman who maintained an immaculate, beautiful home and a weed or grass in her flowerbed had a very short life.  Her love, encouragement, positive attitude, and strength are her lasting gifts to us all. Those who will miss her the most because they were loved by her the most are her three daughters, Linda Fletcher, Penny St. Ledger, and Jane John as well as five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 


In lieu of flowers, please pay it forward in the spirit of Gerry by doing something for someone in need. Pay for school lunches for those who are hungry, volunteer somewhere to help those in need, pay for the groceries for a struggling mother or elderly person on a fixed income, or some other good deed for those who need lifting up.


Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at the First Baptist Church of Opelousas from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:30 a.m.  Burial to follow at Bellevue Memorial Park in Opelousas. 


Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home of Opelousas, 2845 South Union Street, Opelousas, LA 70570 (337) 942-2638, has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.  



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Geraldine “Gerry” Rider Fletcher, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 18, 2023

10:00 - 11:15 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 18, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, March 18, 2023

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Bellevue Memorial Park

4833 LA-182, Opelousas, LA 70570

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