Geraldine “Jerri” Brillhart, age 101, passed away peacefully on May 8, at her home in Brentwood.
She was born in Chicago to Rose and James Patterson. In 1935, after attending business school, Jerri moved to Los Angeles and worked as executive secretary for Aviation Insurance until her marriage to William Mattson, an accountant, in 1940. They had two daughters, Marsha, born in 1941, and Marilyn, born in 1944.
After William died of Polio in 1945, Jerri remarried in 1948 to George Brillhart, a salesman. Their daughter Suzanne was born in 1949.
Jerri was claims department supervisor at Travelers Insurance, Long Beach, for 22 years. After retirement at 62, she began writing poetry and prose. As a published author and award-winning poet, her poetry is included in eight anthologies. Her books include, “My 100 Years In The Rhythm and Flow” and “Antique Dreams.” Her worldwide travels included China, Turkey, Spain, France, England, Canada, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii and Mexico.
As a leader in her community, she served as PTA president, youth leader and prayer practitioner at Religious Science Church in Long Beach, and prayer chaplain and poet laureate at Brentwood Unity. Jerri was an original founder of Continuing Learning Education for seniors at Fullerton State University. Her favorite charities included St. Jude’s Memorial Foundation, Road Scholar, CSU Fullerton and The Nature Conservancy. Jerri’s Building Fund has been established at Brentwood Unity. It was her vision to build Brentwood Unity, a center for spiritual education for young families fostering body, mind and spirit.
As an inspirational public speaker, she shared her poetry and spiritual wisdom. Her presence will be missed, but her spirit lives on in the Brentwood Unity community and with family and friends.
She is survived by her three daughters, Marsha Joy, Marilyn Mattson and Suzanne Brillhart; three grandsons; and five greatgrandchildren. Contributions in her honor can be sent to Brentwood Unity (Jerri’s Building Fund), 50 Sand Creek Road, #60, in Brentwood. Friends and family may express their condolences and sign the guest book at www.legacy.com.