Rosemary J. Gerard, 83, died Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Born in Bethel, Kansas, she went on to study at the University of Miami and the University of Georgia, where she met William T. Gerard, Sr., her husband of 61 years. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Mrs. Gerard was her family’s biggest fan whether they played football, baseball, basketball, or danced ballet. Her distinct whistle cut through the crowd noise to let them know she was there cheering them on. Birthdays, graduations, performances — she was right in the middle of it all, always offering to cook their favorite meal as a congratulations.
Food was her love language, one of the central displays of her generous spirit and nurturing soul. Her legendary meals — fried chicken, rice and gravy; po’ boys; pot roast; ribs (to name a few of the greatest hits) — brought family and friends together, serving as the foundation of her open-door policy. She welcomed anyone who needed a place to congregate, on holidays or otherwise, throwing her fair share of notorious bashes along the way.
The matriarch of a family with a deep love and appreciation for the outdoors, Mrs. Gerard thoroughly enjoyed whitewater rafting, canoeing, and snow skiing with her husband and kids, and later in life, encouraged her grandbabies to do it all as well.
Mrs. Gerard began her career in 1977 as a Georgia certified court reporter in the State Court of Clarke County as the official court reporter for Judge Grady C. Pittard. She opened her own business, Athens Court Reporting Inc., in 1980 and expanded her work to include depositions, administrative hearings, and a multitude of other freelance jobs. She was a longstanding member of Georgia Certified Court Reporters Association and served a term as the association’s president. All the while, she continued on in her position in State Court with Judge N. Kent Lawrence until retiring in 2004.
Mrs. Gerard’s volunteer work included serving as a Pink Lady at St. Mary’s Hospital, helping raise funds for her sons’ high school football team, assisting with her daughter’s ballet school and recitals, and working closely with the Parent Teachers Association throughout her children’s grade school years.
In her retirement, she worked during election seasons at the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections for Gail H. Schrader, helping with early voting and processing absentee ballots. She was an avid bridge player at the Oconee County Senior Center and continued to steadfastly take care of her husband and family.
She was the daughter of the late Michael Juranich and Mary Fratzel Juranich Rogers, and she was predeceased by her brothers, Joseph Juranich and George Juranich, and her sister Kathryn Northington, all of Bethel, Kansas. Survivors in addition to her husband include three children; Ben (LaRue) Gerard of Lilburn, GA, Billy (Lisa) Gerard of Black Diamond, WA and Amo (John Boobas) Gerard of Nicholson, GA; grandchildren: Chris (Amber) Gerard, Patrick (Katie) Gerard, Bo Gerard, Jake Gerard, Ross Bowers, Rachel Bowers, Zack Boobas and Nick Boobas, two great grandchildren and numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces. Funeral services will be held Friday, June 14, 2019 at 3PM at Lord & Stephens West Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Lord and Stephens Funeral Homes, WEST, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com