GERTRUDE "GERY" BROOKS peacefully died at the age of 90 in her apartment in Jenkin-town, Pennsylvania on Thurs-day, December 19, 2012. She is survived by her son, George David Hankin and his wife Ina Hankin, her daughter, Madeline Hankin Nappen and her husband Robert Nappen, and her son, Mark Hankin and his wife Helene Hankin. In addition, she is survived by seven grandchildren and their spouses, Stacy Einhorn, Marcy Schultz and her husband, Barry Schultz, Chad Hankin and his wife Paulie Hankin, Allan Nappen and his wife Julie Nappen, Dara King, Alexander Hankin and Danielle Hankin and twelve (12) great-grand-children.
Gery Hankin was born in Philadelphia in 1922 to her parents, George and Ethel Brooks. Her parents established and operated a chain of 19 millenary stores in Phila-delphia, New Jersey and Delaware. During her youth she and her brother, Bill Brooks, worked with their parents in their Philadelphia stores. She was preceded by her brother Bill Brooks, who served in the Fighting 69th in World War II, following in the footsteps of their father who served in the same division during World War I.
Gery graduated from Overbrook High School and attended Bucknell University until her father's death at which time she returned to Philadelphia and graduated from Beaver College. She married Perch P. Hankin on October 18, 1942. Together with the other eight members of the Hankin/Shanken families, they founded a successful family business, the Hankin Organiza-tion, which, over the years, built numerous residential housing projects in Mont-gomery and Bucks Counties, built and managed the second and fourth Howard Johnston's Motor Lodges in the Howard Johnson's Hotel chain before founding, building and oper-ating the George Washington Motor Lodge chain with 1,800 rooms in southeastern Pennsyl-vania. Mrs. Hankin handled the interior decoration of all of the motels.
The family business of which she was an integral member went on to develop numerous industrial parks, the Willow Grove Shopping Center (the second suburban shopping center in the Philadelphia area), many restaurants, Willow Grove Amusement Park, one of the first large amusement parks in the United States, and Willow Grove Bowling Lanes, the largest bowling emporium in the country with 116 bowling lanes, three restaurants and a state of the art childcare facility. She was a founding shareholder of the Bank and Trust Company of Old York Road, which was the first bank to be established in the State of Pennsylvania after the Great Depression, and the Bank of King of Prussia.
Gery Hankin designed, managed and coordinated the interior decorating of the Willow Grove Bowling Lanes, the family restaurants and all of the branches of the two banks. During her interior design career, she met and consulted with such luminaries as world renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright and Walt Disney, amongst others.
Gery Hankin was an active member in the many Jewish charitable organizations including being president of the local chapter of ORT and the Auxiliary of the Philadelphia Geriatrics (now the Abramson Center), an active member of the Israel Bonds organization and an active supporter of many other Jewish charitable organizations.
Graveside Services will be held the Mt. Sharon Cemetery, 467 East Springfield Road, Springfield, Delaware County, Pennsylvania at 11:30 A.M. on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. The family will be sitting Shiva on Tuesday night, Wednesday night and Thursday night at the home of Mrs. Hankin's daughter, Madeline Nappen.
The family would request that any charitable contributions made in Mrs. Hankin's honor be made to the American Friends of Magan David Adom (212-757-1627), which purchases much needed ambulances for use in the state of Israel, or the Abington Hospital Hospice (215-441-6701) which provided superb care for Gery during the last year of her life.
Published on Philly.com on July 22, 2012