Gerri Jean (Atkins) Hoort was born August 9, 1944, in Lansing, Michigan. She grew up in Lansing, with her parents Grady and Kathalene Atkins, along with older sister Carol and younger brother Phillip. Growing up she attended Willow Street School and graduated from Sexton High School. In her childhood, Gerri loved riding her bicycle and playing hide-and-seek, while being relentlessly teased by her older sister. She knew that when the streetlights came on, that game of kick-the-can was over, and it was time to go home. In her early 20’s, Gerri enjoyed her time as a self-employed hair stylist. She spent a lot of her free time going to bingo with her sister (the casinos weren’t really a thing yet) and camping. We won’t talk about the time she wrecked Carol’s car. Moving on to Gerri’s 30’s, no one can forget the time she was a L’eggs girl. Throughout her life, Gerri was known for her love of baking, canning, and gardening. No family gathering was complete without her famous sweet potato casserole, Texas sheet cake, or her pretzel salad. One time, Gerri took a trip to Las Vegas and fell in love with casinos and the free gifts they offer. Over the years, she accumulated quite the collection of free gifts, most of which came from Gun Lake Casino in particular. In 2000, Gerri met Larry Hoort. They married on December 26, 2003, in Sunfield, Michigan. For a time, Gerri relished her position helping to run the Mid-Michigan chapter of MSSFA, selling raffle tickets with a passion. The other constant in Gerri’s life was her love of animals. Her pets were her babies. While Gerri never had any human children of her own, she fiercely loved her nieces, nephews, stepchildren, and grandchildren.
Gerri peacefully passed on Sunday, April 30, 2023. She was preceded in death by her parents Grady and Kathalene (Swan) Atkins, her brother Phillip Atkins, nephew Scott Huff, niece Michelle (Bennett) Brickley, sister-in-law Sandra (Hoort) Heyboer, and son-in-law Arthur Hayward. She is survived by her husband Larry Hoort, sister Carol (Paul Beech) Huff, brother-in-law Randy Hoort, three stepchildren, thirteen grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Gerri’s life will be held at Sunfield United Brethren Church on Thursday, May 4, 2023. There will be a gathering of friends and family at 12:00 p.m., followed by a brief service at 2:00 p.m. where anyone is welcome and encouraged to share their favorite stories and memories.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ionia County Animal Shelter in Gerri’s memory.
To send flowers
to the family or plant a tree
in memory of Gerri Jean (Atkins) Hoort, please visit our floral store.