Vera Jane Galey Gerard, 78, died on October 6, 2012 at the Barron Center in Portland, Maine after a long illness. Vera was born March 1, 1934 in Erie, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John and Goldie Ream Galey. She was raised in Erie and attended Kingsley United Methodist Church. Vera graduated from Strong Vincent High School in 1952. She married Conrad Allan Gerard on June 3, 1959 and together they raised three children. Vera was a wonderful mother. She organized and participated in events with family and friends with enthusiasm. She loved being with people and often said that she never met anyone she didn't like. Vera worked at First National Bank of Erie, Pa. in the Trust Dept. and later at Bay Radiology Associates in Falmouth, Mass. as a medical secretary. After moving to Maine, she worked in the business office at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Vera was a valued and trusted employee. Vera will be sadly missed by her family. Survivors include her husband Conrad of Portland, Maine; her children, Suzette Olafsen and husband Kurt of Portland, Maine, Leslie Gerard of Rixeyville, Virginia, and John Gerard and wife Sandra of Collinwood, Tennessee; her grandchildren, Sarah Griffin and husband Barry of Portland, Maine, Thomas Stanley of Fremont, New Hampshire, Eric Olafsen of San Diego, California, Scott Olafsen of Moab, Utah, and Peter Olafsen of Portland, Maine; her nephew David Briggs and wife Marcia of Erie, Pennsylvania; and her niece Kathleen Root and husband Edward of Concord, Ohio. David remembers his Aunt Vera being like a big sister to him and will miss their long phone calls when they would solve all the world's problems. Vera's family sincerely thanks the caring staffs at both the Barron Center and Seventy-Five State Street in Portland for all their love and attention over the past two and a half years. Vera will be buried at Greenville Cemetery in Greenville, Maine. A private graveside service will be held for family. Throughout her life, Vera enjoyed the company of animals. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Vera's memory to the Animal Rescue League of Greater Portland (www.arlgp.org/donations/).
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Oct. 8, 2012