Deceased April 5, 2011
On April 5, 2011, Gerry Driscoll passed away from complications of melanoma. Gerry had survived three cancer operations over the last three years and continued to live an active life up until two weeks before his death. He truly loved Amherst College, returning to many reunions and attending numerous Amherst-Williams football and baseball contests. In our house, Amherst College was always a special place. He was a proud donor to the college for 65 consecutive years.
Gerry was born in Chicago, lived briefly in Atlanta and grew up in the New York metropolitan area. He graduated from the Pingry School in New Jersey. While at Amherst, Gerry was a member of Theta Xi fraternity and spent his leisure time playing tennis and swimming. His college years at Amherst were interrupted by World War II. He saw service in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theatre at the Battle of Guadalcanal and at the Battle of Okinawa. Following graduation from Amherst, he earned a master’s degree from Columbia University. His love of English and history lead him to a rewarding career in secondary education in the Somerset, Mass., and Barrington, R.I., school systems where he helped shape the lives of many young people. He was a member of the National Education Association.
Gerry was married to the former Patricia Henry for 56 years, before her death in 2009. When Pat was stricken with Alzheimer’s and confined to a nursing home in 2007, Gerry faithfully visited her daily, making her the focus of his life. He is survived by son David ’76 of Somerset, Mass.; daughter Patty Pomerleau of Seekonk, Mass.; daughter Ellen Connor of Montpelier, Vt.; and son William of Atlanta. Gerry and Pat had six grandchildren.
Gerry and Pat traveled extensively to Europe, Canada and numerous U.S. destinations. He loved to meet people from around the world, experiencing different customs and cultures. He was a lifelong learner. Gerry was a devout Catholic and gave his time and money to numerous charitable organizations. He was a member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and served on the Board of Directors of the Samaritans.
In retirement, Gerry enjoyed the ocean and his flower garden. For over 40 years, he was a member of the Baker’s Beach Club in Westport, Mass., where he relaxed, swam and walked the beach. Another favorite stop was Wells Beach, Maine, where he enjoyed the invigorating Maine water and the warm company of relatives. Gerry’s passion around the house was his flower garden. Any visit to his home during the spring, summer or fall would include a tour of his beautiful array of flowers.
This March, Gerry and his entire family attended a St. Patrick’s Day party, complete with great food, drink, music and dancing. It was a wonderful celebration of family and friends. Gerry thoroughly enjoyed his last Saint Patrick’s Day. He will be missed by family and friends.
Dave Driscoll ’76