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Geraldine "Gerri" Atherton

August 20, 1951 March 9, 2012
Geraldine "Gerri" Atherton
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Obituary for Geraldine "Gerri" Atherton

St. Albans - Gerri Atherton, 60, died Friday March 9, 2012, afternoon in the ICU at Fletcher Allen Health Care after a long battle with heart failure and pneumonia. Gerri was born in Middletown, CT on August 20, 1951, the daughter of the late Rose and Albert Massini. She was a “miracle baby” born with a rare heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. She was rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital where a temporary repair was done. The major repair was done in 1961. Thanks to the pioneering work of Drs. Blalock and Taussig and the genius of Vivian Thomas, she lived a long productive life. She was a graduate in the first nursing class from Southern Connecticut State College in 1973. Later that year, she married her college sweetheart Bob, her husband of 38 years. She went on to a long nursing career at Windham Hospital in Connecticut, North Country Hospital in Newport, VT, many years with Franklin County Home Health in Franklin County, Vermont with some time at Care Partners, adult day care, and Kings Daughters Home before returning to Franklin County Home Health where she worked until her last hospitalization. She leaves behind her husband Bob, her brother Tom and his wife, Elinor of Old Saybrook, CT; A sister-in-law, two brothers-in-law in Connecticut; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and her mother-in-law, Elaine Schoell, of Mystic, CT. She was also a loving foster parent for many years and has stayed in touch with Samantha Parizo of Middlebury and Josh Parizo of Montgomery. Gerri was a life-long fan of the Red Sox and, in recent years, of UCONN women’s basketball. She loved a wide range of music from classical to Bon Jovi. She knitted hundreds of hats and pairs of mittens for various charities in the area. Words cannot begin to describe how indebted we are to the McClure Medical Intensive Care Unit at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Over 31 days the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists were professional, compassionate, and at the end, treated Gerri with the dignity she deserved. Calling hours will be on Saturday, March 17, 2012, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM followed by a memorial service at 3:00 PM at Heald Funeral Home, 87 South Main St., St. Albans, VT. Contributions in Gerri’s memory can be made to Franklin County Home Health, 3 Home Health Circle, St. Albans, VT 05478. Private messages of condolence are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.

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