Geraldine Gessner Swanson

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Geraldine Gessner Swanson passed away on Sept. 6, 2012, at the remarkable age of 95. Her three daughters, Deborah Handy of Newton, Mass., Jo-Ann Swanson of Manchester, and Elizabeth Schweppe of Upper Montclair, N.J., were with her.

Gerry had lived at Manchester Manor, Emeritus of South Windsor, Montclair, N.J., and with her husband, Edwin Swanson, in Largo, Fla. For many years, the Swansons lived in Suffield where they moved from South Natick, Mass. Edwin died in 1995. Gerry was born in Jefferson, N.H., to Jason and Effie Gessner, then lived and attended school in nearby Lancaster. Her ties to Lancaster were deep and strong, one of the many gifts she gave her children. Gerry was a trained musician with a wonderful contralto voice, which enriched many church choirs and chorales. She attended the New England Conservatory of Music and taught piano for many years. Her love of life, vibrant personality, and kindness created enduring friendships wherever she lived.

Gerry Swanson, however, loved nothing more than being with her three daughters; three grandchildren, Jason Krochalis, Miller Handy Hughes, Tyler Schweppe; and two great-grandchildren, Eleanor and Jack Hughes. She is also survived by her sister, Beth Edney of Laconia, N.H., son-in-law, Jay Schweppe, Steven Hughes; and many nieces and nephews. She graced our lives with her beauty for 95 years and left a legacy of love and thoughtfulness that will live on for generations to come.

A memorial service and reception in Geraldine's honor will be held on Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 41 Park St., Manchester.

Our family would like to thank the staff of North One at Manchester Manor for the extraordinary care they gave Mom these past two years. Their patience and expertise enriched Mom's life and allowed her to die with peace, dignity, and in the company of her daughters.

Memorial donations may be made to the Book of Remembrance, St. Mary's Church, 41 Park St., Manchester, CT 06040.

The John F. Tierney Funeral Home, Manchester, has care of the arrangements.

For online condolences please visit

Funeral Home
John F. Tierney Funeral Home
219 West Center Street
Manchester, CT 06040-4857
(860) 643-1222
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Published in Journal Inquirer from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18, 2012
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