Cartwright Funeral Homes


KEARNS, Geraldine M (O’Keefe), formerly of Braintree, Ma.; Morrow, Ga.; Edgewater, FL, and most recently Port Orange, FL; passed away peacefully on July 26, 2018 after a 3 ˝ year battle with lung cancer. She graduated in 1954 from Mission Church High School, Roxbury, Massachusetts. She was the oldest of 5 children to Edmund and Gert (Marks) O’Keefe. She was the consummate caretaker; she assisted her mother in taking care of her younger siblings. Her first job was delivering meals to diabetics at New England Deaconess Hospital, continuing her lifelong calling in service to others. She was thrilled to be making $15 per week, of which she would give her mother $10/week.She married the love of her life, Bobby Kearns, also of Roxbury, Mass. They remained married until Bob passed away in 2007. Together they had 5 children, the late Robert M. Kearns, Jr.; James and Laura Kearns of Buckeye, AZ; Thomas Kearns of Port Orange, FL; Christine and Steve Collins of Blairsville, Ga; Kevin and Joy Kearns of Statesboro, Ga.; and the 5th honorary son, her nephew Bobby and Tara Coakley, of Elm Grove, WI. Gerry was preceded in death by her loving parents, her younger brother, Bill O’Keefe, and her brother-in-law Bob Coakley. She is survived by her siblings Cathy Coakley of Holbrook, MA, formerly of Buckeye, AZ; Peggy and Jack Leary, of Mesa, AZ; Ed O’Keefe and his partner Linda McDermott of Hingham, MA. Gerry is survived by numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Gerry and her family lived for 30 years in Morrow, Ga. She raised her children there. They all traveled numerous times per year to Miami, FL to see friends and back to Boston, Mass to see the numerous family members that remained in Massachusetts. Flying standby on Delta Air Lines, she was able to travel extensively over the years, going to places including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Alaska, Hawaii, and Ireland. Those that know Gerry for any length of time are aware of the tragic motorcycle accident that her oldest son, Bobby, suffered on May 9th, 1979. Her life and that of the whole family was instantly and permanently changed. He was bedridden for 22 years. She lovingly cared for Bobby daily. Due to his head injury he was unable to speak, eat, or do any kind of voluntary motor function. He was fed through a tube into his stomach. She quickly became a nurse without a nursing degree. Bobby sweated profusely, which required his bed to be changed at least 3 times per day. She took to the task with the love that only a Mother can give. Often times she would be found in the living room taking care of Bobby while singing and humming with her beautiful voice. A tribute to the care that she gave Bobby was when the regular visiting nurse that would come by a few times a week went on vacation. Her replacement asked Gerry how long Bobby had been bedridden. She replied, “19 years.” The nurse refused to believe her, saying, “There is now way! He doesn’t have any bedsores!” Her reply, “And he won’t have any as long as I am taking care of him.” Her word was true as he never had any bedsores. Gerry’s actions in taking care of Bobby and the rest of the family was the ultimate example of LOVE personified. After Bobby passed away in 2001, Gerry and Bob moved to Edgewater Landing in Edgewater, FL. They were reunited with their old neighbors from Georgia, Jake and Shirley Lovett, but they also made so many new friends in Edgewater. Gerry enjoyed playing games such as hand and foot, mahjong, and going to the gambling boat at Port Canaveral. She could also be found in the pool participating in water aerobics. Gerry continued her life of service to others at the Edgewater Hospice Care Center where she worked in the kitchen washing dishes and also was a receptionist assisting grief-stricken visitors in their most difficult times. In 2014 she sold her house in Edgewater and moved to Hanover, Massachusetts. Her motivation for the move back home was to help take care of her aging mother, Gert O’Keefe who at the time was 95 years young. After 2 years in Massachusetts, Mom moved back to the Daytona Beach area of Florida. She loved the “World Famous Balcony View.” Her grandson Ronnie relocated from Georgia and moved into the condo with her. Together they were inseparable buddies. They were good for each other. She again had someone that she could cook and care for. Ronnie was able to be included in Gerry’s circle of “Best Friends” along with her oldest friend and cousin Barbara D’Amato, the last remaining “Outlaw” Frannie Kearns, and Marie Loconzolo, Shirley Lovett, and Gerry Brady. Always thinking of others and not wanting being a burden to others while she was battling lung cancer, Gerry had a major goal. She did not want to die before her mother, because she did not want her mother, Gert, to have to experience the pain of burying another child. Sadly, Gert passed away on June 25th. Gerry succeeded in her goal. She was now able to go in peace, and she passed on July 26th, 2018 surrounded by family. She will be remembered as a happy person with a smile that could light up a room.In lieu of flowers please make donations or volunteer your time to your local hospice center, or if not aware of one, to Beacon Hospice of Fall River, Mass or Seasons Hospice of Milton, Mass

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