Obituary of Geraldine Black
Harriet Geraldine Black, 88 yrs., Clifton Park NY, formerly of Lenox MA, passed away Thursday, July 26, 2018 after a long illness. Born April 5, 1930, Gerrie was the daughter of Harriet Brownsey and Thomas Fry of Niskayuna NY. She married Theodore Davis Black in 1956 having met him through a Schenectady Methodist Church Young Adult Fellowship group. They celebrated 62 years of marriage in July. Educated as an art teacher at SUNY Buffalo and the Albright Art Institute, she taught in Schenectady and Niskayuna NY, as well as in the Pittsfield MA school systems. Her husband, and daughters Janine “Nina” Noelle (Barry) Arkles of Philadelphia and Peri Nanette (Michael) Coleman of Clifton Park survive her, along with three grandchildren, Ryan, Devin, and Tori Coleman. Also surviving her are her older sister Jeanne Geib of Glenwood Landing NY and older brother Kenneth Fry of Yorba Linda CA.
Gerrie loved art, drama, and music, as both audience and performer. She sang alto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Berkshire Festival Choir during summers at Tanglewood, and with the United Church of Christ choir of Lenox, aka The Church on the Hill, and at the First Methodist Church of Pittsfield. She was the founding director of the Youth Choir at the Church on the Hill. She founded the Black Magic Puppeteers, an amateur group that performed at local festivals and fairs. Many puppeteers have later returned with words of appreciation and testimonials of how that experience changed their young lives.
As an art teacher, Gerrie enjoyed wearing bright colors, especially red, and spent many days throughout the year framing and displaying her students’ artwork for major art shows in the schools. Her decorations for the Holidays, at work and at home, rivalled professional displays. No neighborhood child's Birthday Party would be complete without Swami Gerrie looking into her crystal ball and telling little known facts about the party-goers’ activities, often instilling a tremendous awe in the young people. Creepy Halloween "Tomb Walks," blindfolded through the darkened basement, meant many a wet noodle for spider webs, bowls of peeled grapes for eyeballs, branches for bones, and oatmeal for brains. Her extensive flower gardens were the most colorful in the neighborhood. Numerous cats and a much-adored dog spent long and happy lives under her care. Her house was always the fun gathering point for neighborhood kids. She encouraged her daughters to expand their horizons, from horseback riding, to pets, musical instruments, singing, drama, art and museums, history, volunteerism, languages, camping and travel. The greatest love in her life was her husband Ted.
A memorial service will be held at a later date at Christ Community Reformed Church in Clifton Park NY.
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