Janet Gerace

Celebration of Life Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Pittsford Community Church
421 Marsh Road
Pittsford, New York, United States

Obituary of Janet Ethel Gerace

Janet E. Gerace, 83, of Fairport, passed away on February 12th following an unexpected and catastrophic stroke. Janet was born February 7, 1939 to Clide and Ethel Edwards in Delhi, NY and grew up in Andes, a lovely small town in the Catskills. As a little girl, she lived with her family on the country estate of Robert L. Gerry, Jr., the great-great grandson of Elbridge Gerry, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and former U. S. Vice President; her parents served as two of the estate’s caretakers. Then, in 1951, after Clide’s work changed and he became involved in local politics, the family relocated to the village of Andes. Janet attended Andes Central School and excelled at learning. She graduated as Valedictorian of her senior class in 1956, and subsequently attended Potsdam State College. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1960. Later that summer, in August, she married her college sweetheart, Bob Gerace, a graduate of neighboring Clarkson University. Janet and Bob met through her brother Gordon, who was a fellow student at Clarkson as well as a friend and fraternity brother of Bob’s. Janet began her career as an elementary school teacher for the Rochester City School District before becoming a stay at home mother, raising her two sons, Jim and Tom. With two babies born just 15 months apart, she was a very busy young mom. After both boys entered school, she resumed her career, working as a Teaching Assistant for the Fairport Central School District where her boys attended school. As her sons grew, she began attending graduate school. Janet earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Nazareth College in 1980, with specializations in Reading and Special Education. While attending graduate school, she worked at Hillside Children’s Center and, for a time following graduation, she mentored future teachers as an adjunct instructor at Nazareth. But it wasn’t long before Janet turned her full attention back toward her dual calling of family at home and teaching children at work. She was unfailingly dedicated to both. Janet went on to work for the Canandaigua City School District for several years, followed by tenure with the Hilton Central School District. There, she taught in the REACH program as well as the sixth grade at Northwood Elementary. Janet dearly loved her students and families as well as her colleagues. She often spoke about how sad she felt when contemplating retirement, because she loved teaching so. But in 2000, the opportunity came along for her and Bob to retire together, and it was the right choice at the right time. In the years since, Mom and Dad were virtually inseparable, often just doing ordinary things such as errands and household tasks, like any other couple. But they especially savored their walks, trips to Florida, watching birds and wildlife from their patio or through their large kitchen window, and visits with friends and family. They especially held dear time with their three grandchildren, Justin, Jacob and Francesca. Their Christian faith was also a central component of their journey together, and they enjoyed being part of the supportive and loving congregation of Pittsford Community Church. One of Janet’s contributions among her friends at PCC was coordinating the Woman’s Bible Study Group that met Monday evenings; it was one of the highlights of her spiritual life for the past several years. Janet is predeceased by her parents, Clide and Ethel Edwards. Left to cherish her memory is her husband of 61 years, Robert Gerace of Fairport; son and daughter-in-law, James and Jacqueline Gerace of Fayetteville, NY; son Thomas Gerace of Henrietta; grandsons Justin Gerace of Irvine, CA and Jacob Gerace of South Bend, IN; a granddaughter, Francesca Gerace of Rochester; brother and sister-in-law, Gordon and Jane Edwards of Durham, NC; sister and brother-in-law, David and Anne Russell of Cicero, NY; three nephews and two nieces; three great nephews and two great nieces; and one great-great nephew. The Gerace family wishes to thank the hardworking health care teams in the Emergency Room, Neuromedical ICU and Medical ICU at Strong Memorial Hospital for their dedicated and compassionate care of our wife, Mom and Grandma. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, March 19th at 2 pm at Pittsford Community Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in Janet’s memory to the Mission Fund at Pittsford Community Church, 421 Marsh Road, Pittsford, NY 14534, #(585)248-8260
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