Geraldine G. Baer, devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 17, 2018. She was 84.
Gerry was born on July 17, 1933 in Knoxville, Tennessee, and spent her childhood in Nashville and Knoxville. She graduated in 1951 from Knoxville High School and in 1955 from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Business Administration, and remained thereafter a devoted fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. In 1956 she married her husband, Bill, and after a short time in New Jersey, raised their family in Connecticut. They moved to White Hall, Virginia in 1993 to be near their sons, Bill Jr. and Eric.
Gerry and Bill were happily married for 56 years until Bill’s death in 2013. They are survived by their son Bill Baer Jr. and his wife Jane, of White Hall; Eric Baer and his wife Jackie, of John’s Island, South Carolina; and grandchildren Mary Lofton and her husband James, Allison Geraldine De Graaf and her husband Brandon, Dan Baer, Ava Quesada, Sarah Baer, Hank Baer, Billy Baer, and Matthew Baer. Gerry is also survived by several beloved nieces and nephews. She found great joy in her family. She kept a plaque on her kitchen wall that said, “Grandma’s my name—Spoilin’s my game,” and lived up to it. She also leaves a number of close long-term friends and good neighbors, as well as new friends she made at the Lodge at Old Trail, who meant a great deal to her.
Gerry was a lifelong Christian and a faithful parishioner of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cheshire, Connecticut and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ivy, Virginia, where she and Bill sang in the choir. She spent much of her life engaged in church, charitable, and civic organizations. She enjoyed music and art, including flower arranging and pottery, and especially singing. The church choir and the singing group at the Lodge were special sources of pleasure and companionship.
An exceptionally joyful and loving person, Gerry had strong affection for her family and friends and “never met a stranger.” Her natural tendency was always to see the best in people and take an interest in their lives. She was always delighted to get a phone call and hear how you were doing. She relished playfulness and laughter. Even as death approached, she kept her sense of humor and love of fellowship. In the hospice a couple days before her death, she remarked that she had really enjoyed all the visitors who had come to see her, smiled slyly, and said, “This has been a lot of fun. I think I’ll die twice. What do you think about that?”
She was unusually positive and sunny. Right through her final years she stayed cheerful, focusing on the good that could be found in each day. While some of us felt her unflagging optimism was at times not realistic, we had to admit that when Gerry’s worldview clashed with reality, reality tended to retire from the field in abject defeat. She was a good person to talk with in times of sorrow or trouble. We will all dearly miss the lightness and joy of her company.
Our family would like to extend thanks to Martha Jefferson Hospital and the Hospice of the Piedmont for their wonderful care and support during Gerry’s last illness. We are also very grateful to the staff of The Lodge at Old Trail for their loving care and many kindnesses, particularly in the last few months.
A funeral service followed by a reception in the parish hall was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ivy on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Gerry’s memory is asked to give to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Ivy or to the Hospice of the Piedmont.
Anderson Funeral Service was in charge of arrangements.