Edith S. (Scott) Gerry (1922 - 2014)

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  • "Dear Janet and Frank, I am so very sorry to hear of your..."
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BUCKLAND - Edith (Scott) Gerry, 91, of Upper Street, died Wednesday, May 7, at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.
She was born in Hawley on Oct. 19, 1922 to Wilbur T. and Ruth E. (Clark) Scott, the ninth of their 10 children. She moved to the family farm in north Buckland when she was a year old. She remembered driving the cattle from Buckland to Hawley for summer grazing as a child, walking barefoot up the dirt roads with her brothers and sisters.
Edie first attended the North School, a one-room schoolhouse near the current intersection of Rte. 112 and Purinton Road, Later, she went to Arms Academy, following the commercial course of study, and playing varsity basketball. Edie was especially honored to receive a Silver A, recognizing her good citizenship and service to her class. She graduated in 1941.
Edie's working life began at the Greenfield Tap and Die, and continued closer to home at Lamson and Goodnow, where she was secretary to the president.
During World War II, Edie began corresponding with a Buckland boy stationed in Panama. She and Richard Gerry were married at her parents' home on May 31, 1947. In their early-married years, they were active in the Buckland Grange - one year Edie starred in a production of ""The Gondoliers,"" a Gilbert and Sullivan light opera staged by the Grange.
Her son Frank was born in 1953, and a daughter Janet in 1955. (Edie might have taken another big role when the Grange put on ""HMS Pinafore,"" but for Janet's impending arrival. Janet put this right in December 2013, accompanying Edie to the same musical by the Valley Light Opera.
In 1959, Dick and Edie bought a place they had long wished to own, George Tower's house on Upper Street, which they spent years renovating.
While her children were growing up, Edie helped out with many of their activities, serving as superintendent of the Mary Lyon Church Sunday School, leader of the Buckland Busy Bees 4-H group and chauffeur for swimming lessons, paper routes and Boy Scouts.
In 1973, Edie began working at the Buckland Town Office, as Town Clerk and Treasurer, posts she held for 14 years. Her interest in quilting was sparked by the creation of the town's Bicentennial Quilt in 1979. Edie's square depicted Jim Avery's Teddy and Max, the largest oxen in the world in their day, in front of her family's Buckland farm, owned at one time by Avery.
When she retired from the Town Office (replaced by two people), Edie's interest in quilting became her passion. She always sewed her quilts by hand. She began with a sailing-themed quilt for Frank and his wife Marianne (Pazmino), reflecting their enjoyment of the sport. A sampler quilt for Janet won the first of several blue ribbons at the Franklin County Fair.
The Monday Nighters quilting group started in the late 1980s, and was still meeting at Edie's house after all these years. Edie was also a long-term trustee of the Buckland Public Library, the Arms Academy scholarship fund, and an honorary life member of the Friends of Robert Strong Woodward. At different times, she was president of the church Ladies' Club and Missions Committee, and was almost always on the Work Committee. A newspaper article once named her the Pie Diva - her rolls and pies were easily recognizable at bake sales and church dinners, and always among the first to go.
Edie was delighted by the arrival of her grandchildren, Frank and Marianne's daughter Carina, in 1978, and son Jess, in 1980. When Janet was married to Carl Nelke, Edie acquired two more grandchildren, Erin and Josh Nelke. Born in 2004, Erin's son Nicholas Anello is her beloved first great-grandchild. At the time of her death, Edie was looking forward to the births of a great-granddaughter and a great-grandson.
Dick Gerry died in 1999 after 52 years of marriage.
Edie is survived by her older sisters, Kathryn Flagg of Allendale, NJ (""sister Kit"") and Elizabeth (""Bobby"") Hill of Westerly, RI., her younger brother Richard of Johnson City, TN, and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours are from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 16, at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home (smithkelleherfuneralhome.com). Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, at the Mary Lyon Church, followed by burial in the church cemetery.
Rather than flowers, Edie would have preferred donations to the Mary Lyon Church or the Buckland Public Library.
Funeral Home
Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home Inc
40 Church St
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
(413) 625-2121
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Published in The Recorder on May 14, 2014