Geraldine Lavern Jackson Hays Stancill, 89, passed away on Monday, July 26, 2021. Due to COVID-19, a private service will be held in Ayden Cemetery. Gerry was preceded in death by her two husbands, Glenn C. Hays and J.W. Stancill; a sister, Mary Lou Gilchrist; and a brother, James A. Jackson, Jr. Gerry is survived by her son, Mike Hays; and nieces and nephews. Geraldine was born on May 5, 1932, in McKeesport, PA to the late James A. Jackson and Philomena “Minnie” Hayes Jackson. As a child living in the Smith and Gray Streets neighborhood, she became the defender of the small and weak. Her father regularly referred to her as his “Little Bully Slayer”. In school, she was an above average student with no studying required. She was a member of the German and Chess clubs and a starter on the tennis team. As a seventh grader, she moved up to the high school varsity team and as a ninth grader, she was ranked number one in girl singles, girls doubles and mixed doubles. At age 16, she left school and took a job in Pittsburgh as a secretary/bookkeeper for a manufacturing firm. She did this to help her parents and two siblings. Picture that, it’s 1948, she is just 16, 4 feet 10 inches tall, traveling 6 days a week to the industrial center of Pittsburgh from the semi-rural town of Port Vue. To make that trip, she gets on a city bus at the corner of Smith and Gray Street to East McKeesport, then an electric streetcar to West McKeesport to board a train. In 1960, she and her husband Glenn Hays resurrected her parents’ bakery, renovating their basement to meet the health department standard and get their name, “Jackson Homemade Pies,” approved by the Allegheny Commerce Department. This was the only business in the county allowed to use “Homemade” in their name. The bakery was an instant hit, creating jobs for eight family members. In 1966, they moved to Aberdeen, Maryland where she promptly started an antique shop called “The Little Red Caboose” in a little red caboose on Highway 22 North of Aberdeen. In the mid 1980’s, they moved to Ayden, NC. She promptly entered the antique world opening booths in several antique malls, working for Happy Antique Auctions, and creating an eBay Antique Store. She was always a caregiver and loved children. No matter where she lived, she always provided a safe zone for any child looking for such. She was the primary caregiver to her mother, father and both her husbands. Her son Mike has received dozens of calls from well-wishers. Most offering their own personal view of her essence. All were great and he is thankful for each and everyone. Her nephew Chuck nailed it with four short words, only nine letters “She is a Gem”. My mother “A Gem,” the best friend anyone could ever hope for. She will be missed. Arrangements by Smith Funeral Service & Crematory. Online condolences may be expressed at www.smithfcs.com.