Geraldine Marie Brennan Neff, 86, of Girard, passed away Saturday morning, Oct. 5, 2019, at St. John’s Hospital surrounded by her family.
She was born Feb. 25, 1933, in Thayer, the daughter of Raymond and Anna Elizabeth (Karaffa) Brennan.
Gerry was a 1950 graduate of Virden High School. Growing up, she helped by working in the family grocery store, Karaffa’s Market, in Thayer. She assisted her grandparents with all types of chores to help keep the market in business. Following her high school graduation, Gerry worked as the treasurer of the Illinois State Bar Association in Springfield for two years.
Gerry and Leonard were married in 1955 at Sacred Heart Church in Virden and started their family shortly thereafter. She enjoyed being a “farmer’s wife” and raising her six children and all of their friends. She loved sharing her tips, tricks and wisdom to her extended family, friends, neighbors, and farm help.
Besides taking care of her family, Gerry enjoyed shopping, decorating, floral arranging, and, most of all, cooking. Her passion was providing a good wholesome meal for her large family and all those who may have been fortunate enough to stop by and enjoy her love for food. Sunday lunches with her entire family was an ongoing tradition that were the highlight of her week.
Gerry was a faithful parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church in Girard, where she dedicated many years to teaching catechism to the younger generation.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Leonard; two brothers, Bernard “Bernie” Brennan and John “Jack” Brennan; grandson, Patrick Grider and great granddaughter, Hadley Grider.
Visitation was held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Girard on Tuesday, Oct. 8. There was a prayer service toward the end of the visitation.
A mass of Christian Burial occurred St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, with Fr. James Palakudy and Deacon Denny Baker officiating.
Burial followed in the Girard Cemetery.
Gerry is survived by her six children; Carla (John) Mayernick, Mike (Denise) Neff, Jill Grider, James Neff, and Lisa (Steven) Fouts, all of Girard; and Tracy (Mark) Bertolino of Virden; 10 grandchildren, Michael (Jenny) Neff, Stephanie Daley, Shawn (Kate) Mayernick, Gigi Mayernick, Matthew (Elizabeth) Grider, Erika (Christopher) Asmar, Adrienne Fouts, Kyle Fouts, Blake Bertolino, and Bridget Bertolino; 10 great grandchildren; brother, Raymond Brennan of Springfield; niece, Jennifer Schultz Bucci of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and nephew, Brian Schultz of Alto Pas, IL.
Serving as pallbearers were Mike Neff, James Neff, Michael Neff II, Shawn Mayernick , Blake Bertolino, Kyle Fouts, Steven Fouts, Mark Bertolino and Brian Schultz. Honorary pallbearers were John Mayernick and Matthew Grider.
Memorials are suggested to either St. Patrick’s Church or the Girard Food Pantry.
Davis-Anderson Funeral Home in Girard is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences can be given at www.davisandersonfuneralhome.com.