Jimmie Leola Gieger

Jimmie Leola GiegerJimmie Leola Gieger passed away September 16, 2021 here in the Indian Wells Valley at age 82; she had been in declining health for some time. Jimmie was born on July 31, 1939, in Sweetwater, Texas, but her family soon started moving west: Deming and then Carlsbad, NM, as well as Kingman, AZ.

She remembered spending her 6th birthday with her mother in a motel on Sierra Highway in Palmdale, her father and older brother working during the week at China Lake NOTS as the whole family waited for their house at the corner of Groves and Lauritsen to be completed by fall 1945 when she started first grade in the temporary huts. Jimmie so enjoyed growing up on base in the 1940s and 1950s, walking or bicycling everywhere (the theater, the pool, the library, the chapel, the tennis courts, the little duck-pin bowling alley) and making many good friends along the way.

She graduated from “old” Burroughs in 1957 and went to Bakersfield College 1957-1959 and Fresno State 1959-1961 where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education. Even as her parents retired to Lake Isabella, Jimmie returned to China Lake and taught at Richmond, Vieweg, and Groves between 1961 and 1967. She met and married her husband, Jan Gieger, and they were married for 50 years until his passing in 2013.

She took time off from teaching in 1968 to raise two sons, Jason and Jacob, and returned to the classroom at Pierce full-time in 1984. She particularly enjoyed teaching 4th grade, and she and Jan went on countless road trips (often with dachshunds along for company) to the missions and other historical/scenic sites in California (Jan taking pictures, so Jimmie could show her students the Golden State in slide shows). She retired from teaching in 1996.

At various moments in her life, Jimmie enjoyed bowling, tennis, golf, square dancing, antiquing, cooking (sugar cookies! skillet enchiladas! peanut brittle!), crocheting, and, ever since she was little, reading. She was also an early participant in the Journey to Happiness Group.

Truly, throughout her life, she always enjoyed her friends, new ones made in recent years and especially those friends she’d known for 50 years or more. Lots of good laughs, lots of good times, lots of good stories.

Jimmie is preceded in death by her parents, Ray E. and Florence (Carnes) Vaughan; her brother Sammy and his wife Lorene; and her husband Jan. She is survived by her sons Jacob and Jason (and his husband David); her niece Caroline and her sister- and brother-in-law Elisabeth and Guy; and a grandson, Benjamin.

She has requested no funeral and will be buried at Kern River Valley Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, or an animal/pet charity of your choice.

She will be sorely missed.“Bon Voyage!”

Story First Published: 2021-09-24