A jazz "diva" and lover of all things Italian, our beloved mother Geraldine ("Gerri") Lombardo Buchanan of Mclean, Virginia passed away on July 24, 2017 within the loving arms of family and the embrace of prayer and song.
Daughter of the late Amelia Leonardo Lombardo and Guido Joseph Lombardo of Rochester, New York and Pietramelara, Campania, Italy, and sister of Joseph G. Lombardo (Marie) of Pittsford, New York, Gerri was born on October 5, 1936. She attended Nazareth College in Pittsford, New York prior to receiving her B.A. in English from the University of Rochester.
An indomitable spirit and perpetual student, Gerri's love for education led to her numerous years as an upper elementary school teacher, predominantly at Oak View Elementary School in Fairfax, Virginia. Always a teacher, and as only an English major could, Gerri would readily correct anyone who confused the usage of lie and lay, I and me, and who and whom. Her dedication to education persisted long past her twenty-plus years of teaching, and her enthusiasm for teaching is reflected in her many continued relationships with former pupils.
Her numerous friends attest to her willingness to give of herself, and she was also highly respected by her colleagues— having served Long and Foster Real Estate's Gold Team for top producers as their elected President. One of her greatest joys was sharing her infinite love for the language, food and culture of Italy, and as President she dazzled over 800 of her colleagues with a uniquely memorable trip to Rome and the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
From madrigals to choir to jazz ensembles, her musical interests were varied. In addition to vocals, her talents included playing the piano and accordion. A long-time member of her parish choir, she also resonated within the broader musical community. Gerri thrilled to gather together a jazz combo- for others as well as for herself- and she cherished the frequent requests for "her" songs, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "Someone To Watch Over Me".
Vibrant and dynamic, Gerri embraced life with enthusiasm and verve, and loved to laugh. She was an avid tennis player and horse-lover who loved making and sharing her famous lasagna. When not spending time with her children and grandchildren, or working with her numerous clients and friends, she loved to travel, engage in other cultures, and spend time at the beach. The energy and expanse of the ocean brought her peace, whether in Bethany Beach, Delaware, Naples, Florida, Castine, Maine or in her favorite spot- Ravello on the Amalfi Coast.
Ever since she rescued her first poodle, Fuzz, from the streets of Clifton, Virginia, her dogs were a special love. Her recent canine companions- Campari and the late Amaretto- brought her immeasurable pleasure, comfort, and joy.
Gerri had been married to William Barclay Buchanan for over twenty years, and she raised five children. She is survived by her children William B., Jr. (Marianne) of New Canaan, Connecticut, Robert D., of Leesburg, Virginia, Dana Marie Buchanan, M.D. (John M. Barsanti, M.D.) of Richmond, Virginia, Alison A. (Michael J. Puleo) of Old Greenwich, Connecticut, and Andrea J. (Christopher M. Garrity) of Wexford, Pennsylvania. Her beloved grandchildren William, Margaret and Charlotte Buchanan, Blaise, Wynne and Colman Barsanti, and Brendan and Carson Garrity and numerous nieces and nephews also greatly mourn her passing. In addition, Gerri is survived by her brother, Joseph G. Lombardo (Marie) of Pittsford, New York.
Visitation hours were held on Monday, July 31, 2017. at Money and King Funeral Home, 171 Maple Avenue W, Vienna, Virginia. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at Saint Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Virginia. Gerri will be laid to rest near her mother and father in White Haven Memorial Park in Pittsford, New York in a private family interment.
In lieu of flowers, and in memory of Gerri, please take a walk on the beach and/or consider a donation to either The Geraldine L. Buchanan Endowment for Music, payable to Saint Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Virginia 22101, or to Poodle Club of America Rescue Foundation, Inc. (poodleclubofamericarescuefoundation.org).
For Mom…nightingales continue to sing…