The laughter has left but the loving remains. On Sept. 16, 2020, after 88 years of a very full life, Geraldine Collins Spencer departed this world and headed straight for a reunion with her husband, Robert, and sons, Adam and Robert, who preceded her in death.
Born in 1932 in Spokane, Wash., Gerrie grew up in a loving family with WWI veteran father, Jay, and her hardworking mother, Ethyl.
While at Rodgers High School, she met a young man from Gonzaga Prep and the two married shortly after Gerrie turned 18. This extremely happy union lasted nearly 50 years and produced eight children, all of whom loved them both.
Gerrie was an artist, entrepreneur, mother, foster mother and a woman of conviction who converted to the Catholic faith and lived within the church for the rest of her life. Through hard work and much sacrifice, the young couple was able to care for their large family and build a summer cabin at Diamond Lake, where everyone would summer for years by the pristine waters and beauty of the Northwest. A common sight in the early summer mornings was a slender woman in a stunning red bathing suit, executing perfect dives into the placid waters of the lake while her sons fished from a blue canoe for the morning’s breakfast.
Gerrie loved to laugh, often out loud in short staccato bursts, at whatever crossed her mind in a humorous fashion. A lifelong Republican, Gerrie was asked on her deathbed if she could hold on long enough to sign her absentee ballot. After a short moment of silence, she gasped for breath and then emitted a strong familiar cackle that anyone within 25 yards that new her, would recognize as Gerrie laughing.
She had a marvelous talent for art and keen eye for beauty and quality, traits that helped her as she opened her shop in Greenbank Wash., in the 1980s, “Gerrie’s Antiques and Sun Porch Living.”
Gerrie did not suffer fools lightly, but had all the patience in the world for any disabled, disadvantaged or disenfranchised child, teen, adult or dog. Her generosity was sincere and warm and she embraced all whom she felt needed a hand for whatever reason.
Gerrie is survived by a grateful family, including her daughters, Colleen Hammer and Shelly Ess; sons, Steven, David, Joseph and Mark Spencer; grandchildren, Colette Pattison, Jaqueline Trotter and Erika Spencer, Kelly, Madeline, Allison and Nick Ess, Abigail Spencer and Sean Spencer, who were all able to visit with her before her death and share their love.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic church in Coupeville, Wash., at a later date.