Geraldine L. Gibbs, 91, peacefully passed from this life on April 24, 2020 at the Mennonite Home, Lancaster. Gerry was born in Lancaster on December 23, 1928 to the late J. Graybill and Edith (Root) Longenecker. Lancaster was her home, however as a young woman she did live in Hawaii for three years. During her school years, Gerry graduated from Manheim High School in 1948 and was one of the orators at the commencement program. After high school, she worked at a hotel in New Jersey and also spent a couple of winters in Florida and North Carolina. Along with working in the family business, Root’s County Market and Auction, she had a career at the former Watt & Shand Department Store, Lancaster. She began as a bookkeeper and eventually became the buyer of the better dresses department. Gerry’s most important job came when she married John A. Gibbs in 1961 and adopted his two young daughters, Deborah Ann Aukamp and Sharon G. Burnside. She raised them as her own and they loved her as their own. Gerry eventually left Watt & Shand in 1963. She continued to work at Root’s County Market and Auction, Evergreen Golf, and Conestoga Auction. She finally retired from the workforce at the ripe age of 80. She kiddingly said that she had to work until that age because her mother, Edith was still working. Gerry was a loving, loyal wife to John and was his caregiver in his later years. After he passed, when asked if she would consider another relationship, she would answer, “Why would I? I’ve already had the best!”
Over the years, Gerry was involved in the Women’s Club and Lancaster Ski Club. She enjoyed her regular bridge gatherings with her friends, vacations at the Outer Banks, NC and her many weekends spent at Denton Hill, Potter County, PA, skiing with the “ski crew”. Gerry was a member of Church of the Apostles United Church of Christ, Lancaster. She had a good heart and enjoyed having a good time with her many friends and her family. Her positive attitude and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Along with her daughters, Gerry is survived by her two sons-in-law, Jay Aukamp and Frank Burnside; three grandchildren, Nicole Coley Devine (Calvin), Matthew Coley, and Connor Burnside; six great-grandchildren, Alexis Coley, Amanda Potalivo, Jaidyn & Parker Coley, Robert & Jonathan Devine; a great-great-granddaughter, Lana Norman; and her brother and sister in-law, Donald G. & Lou Longenecker.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the staff at Mennonite Home Communities and Hospice & Community Care for the kind and compassionate care provided to Gerry.
Services will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Gerry’s memory may be made to Hospice & Community Care, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604.