Geraldine (Geri) Marchesano (née Smallridge), 76 of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, died Monday, April 13, 2020 of complications from corticobasal degeneration peacefully in her sleep at home. Born May 15, 1943 in Queens, New York to Mary Butler and James Hayhurst, Geri was an infant foster child to Julia and Harry Houser, the only parents she ever knew.
In her teen years she sang on corners with several (later) famous doo-wop groups and “hung out” with Dion DiMucci (of Dion and the Belmonts). She graduated from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. A devoted mother and wife, in the 1960s Geri worked for Exquisite Form in Pelham NY. Later she worked as a country club waitress and finally a school bus driver. She enjoyed creating a work family everywhere she worked, making new circles of often life-long friends. She could walk into a room full of ten strangers and leave with five friends and loved socializing with friends old and new. She passed time in retirement shopping for tchotchke and becoming a regular at local favorite eating establishments, especially her daily Wawa coffee and glazed doughnut. She always was willing to help anyone who needed it, driving people where they needed to go and cooking for parties, especially her oft requested eggplant parmigiana.
Geri is survived by her children, Paul Marchesano, Elizabeth Staszak (Wayne), Anthony Marchesano, and Christine Grabowski (Larry) and sisters Eileen Kapler and Ellen Brenton, brother William Brenton, grandchildren Erin, Tony, Geoffrey and Jack Staszak and great granddaughter Ariela. She is predeceased by her husband, Anthony (Tony) Marchesano and sister, Carol Faggello.
Cremation will be private. Due to public distancing and stay at home rules, a funeral mass will be celebrated at a yet to be determined date in the future with interment of ashes at Brigadier General Wm C Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery. I lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Geraldine may be made to Cure PSP, 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001. www.psp.org
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