Sept. 26, 1922—Sept. 15, 2018
Geri Patricia Swope Casterline passed away peacefully on Sept. 15, 2018.
Geri was born in Seattle, Wash., to Joseph and Rina Finch. She was the youngest of three daughters.
Her mother passed away when she was only 2 years old. The girls were raised by their aunt.
The family moved to Spokane, Wash., when she was 14. As teenagers, Geri and her sisters were involved in the local church, where she led worship and spoke on occasion. She began feeling the tug of God on her heart for Gospel ministry.
It was at a city-wide meeting when she was playing her saxophone that Bob Swope, a medic in the Army first laid his eyes on the beautiful Geri. They became causal friends, later he was shipped out overseas.
Geri’s life kept moving forward. She found herself at Bible School in Springfield, Mo. She worked part-time for the Gospel Publishing House. It was in those two years of school that she found an increased fondness for writing. One of her classes decided to hold a writing contest, where Geri won second place. It was at that moment she was noticed by the Gospel Publishing House, which kickstarted her career in writing and editing. Geri wrote multiple stories for many of the Assemblies of God national magazines. She also had an article published in Pentecostal Testimony, which is Canada’s national magazine.
The three sisters loved singing and were asked to sing on the very first Revivaltime radio broadcast.
Geri ended up back in Spokane, Wash., and was dating Bob while he finished up at Northwest Bible College in Kirkland, Wash. One Wednesday she called Bob and told him she had decided she would marry him and on Saturday. Without missing a beat he grabbed his suitcase and the rest is history.
Their lives together forever changed when they were asked to take a church in Brooks, Ore. There they spent 42 wonderful years serving as lead pastors. During that time they had a son, Bob, and a daughter, Kelle. Geri worked for the Assemblies of God district office as secretary for five Superintendents, five state youth leaders plus doing the editing of the Forward, the state church magazine, all the while continuing her full time role as pastor’s wife and mom. Geri was a gifted speaker and was asked to speak at various church functions, the Union Gospel Mission being one of her favorites.
In 2004 her beloved husband of 55 years passed away. This was quite an adjustment and time of loneliness. After a time Geri and their family doctor connected and a new love began. They had a large church wedding and had several happy years together.
Geri’s life is a document of God’s love and faithfulness. She was the best mother and grandmother her family could ask for. She always chose to see the blessing and to give thanks in the good and the bad. As she wrote, her life goal was, “to stay vibrantly alive, winning souls, until Jesus comes.” We can all say Geri fulfilled her life goal until the very end.
Geri was preceded in death by her son Bob Swope. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Vernon Casterline, daughter, Kelle Schott, husband Craig, her daughter-in-law, Mary, five grandkids and nine great grandkids.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Life Spring Church on Oct. 20, at 11 a.m., 9165 Portland Rd. NE, Brooks, OR 97305. Private interment Willamette National Cemetery. Arrangements by Restlawn Funeral Home.