Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock, known to many as the “Flying Housewife”, died peacefully at her home in Quincy, Florida on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014. Mock is survived by a daughter and 12 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by two sons.
Mock was 38 on March 19, 1964, when she took off from Columbus, Ohio, in a 1953 Cessna 180 single-engine monoplane named the Spirit of Columbus, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum Archives.
Twenty-nine days and 23,103 miles later, the 5ft, 100lb mother of three landed safely back in Columbus, 27 years after Amelia Earhart’s much more famous – albeit unsuccessful – attempt to circle the globe.
Lyndon Johnson presented Mock with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Exceptional Service decoration in 1964.
Despite the number of records Mock broke, few people knew of the flight or its historical significance, said Kelley, the wife of Bill Kelley, who funded a statue of Mock in downtown Newark, about 30 miles (45 km) northeast of Columbus.
Mock was best known as the first female pilot to circle the globe but she claimed many other “firsts” as well:
- First woman to fly solo around the world
- First woman to fly around the world in a single engine plane
- First woman to fly U.S. – Africa via North Atlantic
- First woman to fly the Pacific single-engine
- First woman to fly the Pacific West to East
- First woman to fly both the Atlantic and Pacific
- First woman to fly the Pacific both directions
Ms. Mock received numerous awards including the Federal Aviation Agency Gold Medal for Exceptional Service and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Award, 1964.