Deanne Gebell Gitner
1944 - 2021
Deanne Gebell Gitner, a former resident of Short Hills, NJ, Houston, TX, and Highland Beach, FL, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away on Monday, May 10, after a long illness.

Deanne was born in Lyons, New York, in 1944. She attended Lyons High School, where she was the drum major in the marching band and graduated as class Valedictorian. She was the first in her family to attend college, graduating from Cornell University in 1966 with a degree in English.

Post-graduation, Deanne attended SUNY Geneseo teacher's college. Living in Rochester, NY, she met her beloved husband, Gerald (a graduate student at the University of Rochester), they quickly fell in love, married soon after meeting, and were together for 53 years.

Deanne taught junior high and high school English for several years, and then decided to become a full-time mother to her two children, Daniel and Seth. She was fully devoted to both of them. She also gave much time to charitable causes such as the National Council of Jewish Women, becoming a regional president in Texas for that group. Never one to sit still, when Dan and Seth were old enough, she went back to work. She held positions as a national school textbook representative and as a journalist, writing and editing for the Millburn-Short Hills Independent Press. As a result of her passion for storytelling, both of her sons took up an interest in journalism. Dan became editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper and was an active contributor to his college newspaper. During Seth's high school years, he (then a budding photographer) and his mother could be found throughout the town covering spot news, such as car accidents and fires. Indeed, at one point, Deanne, Dan, and Seth all worked for the Independent Press, and their bylines could be found next to each other on the front page.

After working as a journalist, Deanne became the Communications Coordinator for the Millburn Public School System in Millburn, New Jersey, where she worked until her retirement.

Deanne had a life-long love for her alma mater, Cornell University. She served as a life member of the Cornell Council, chaired various committees, interviewed prospective applicants for admission, and organized alumni events. Her legacy will live on in perpetuity through the numerous endowed awards and scholarships that she and Gerry bestowed at higher education institutions throughout the country, including Cornell.

Deanne loved traveling. She visited all 50 states and 60 foreign countries with her husband Gerry, a former aviation executive. After raising her family, she and Gerry moved to Highland Beach, FL. She loved to talk about her children, and watch her grandkids at the pool and the beach.

Deanne is survived by her husband Gerry, son Dan and spouse Meredith of New York, NY, and son Seth and spouse Angela of Manlius, NY, as well as her grandchildren Jake, 14, Sadye, 12, and Madelyn, 11.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Empower Parkinson Inc. of Central New York. (
Published by New York Times from May 27 to May 28, 2021.
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4 Entries
I am truly shocked to read of Deanne's passing. She was a dear friend who I met in the Cornell Concert Band. She was very fond of me and I was a fool for not pursuing her! But as an Engineering Physics student I barely had time to sleep. Although I was in the class of 1965 and Deanne was in the class of 1966, I was well aware of her being the class correspondent for Cornell Alumni News. What a full life, with travel, writing, family, and dedication to Cornell, education, and Jewish causes. I am very saddened of her passing, a dear, sweet person. I send my condolences to all of you. Oak Park, Illinois.
Les Golden, Cornell class of 1965
August 29, 2021
As a journalist, Deanne was a mentor to me. She preceded me as the Millburn-Short Hills reporter for The Independent Press newspaper and we shared views on municipal affairs. Later, we became neighbors in the same condo community and we often shared news of our mutual friends and children and grandchildren. I will miss her down-to-earth manner.
Patsy Harris
June 5, 2021
Deanne and I were first cousins ,but never met until we had grown children. There was an instant chemistry like we had been together
Forever. She was a delight and I always enjoyed are lunches, shopping
Trips and just conversations. It was difficult to watching Parkinson’s take
Away all the abounding energy and great intellect from her. Difficult to
Watch Gerry too ,who was a real hero and wonderful to her until the
End, I love both of them , I send my condolences to thre whole family.
Sandi Karchefsky Berns
May 29, 2021
Your mom was much loved and will remembered always
Lenny & Maureen Gitner
May 29, 2021
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