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Geraldine (Geri) A. “Roethig” Walsh 93 of Dubuque reached her eternal destination surrounded by her family on Sunday February 6. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Ca... Read More
Geraldine (Geri) A. “Roethig” Walsh 93 of Dubuque reached her eternal destination surrounded by her family on Sunday February 6. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, February 11 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church. The visitation will be Thurday, February 10 from 3-7 p.m. at Egelhof, Siegert,and Casper funeral home, 2659 Kennedy Road with a wake service at 6:30 p.m. Burial will in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
Geraldine was born April 25, 1928 in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, the only daughter of Leo and Margaret Roethig. She married the love of her life, Jim “J.E. “Walsh on October 16,1948 at St. Columbkille Catholic Church. During their courtship they loved to spend their time dancing and partying with their friends. Throughout the years their family expanded to include nine children. Each of them was welcomed as a gift from God and enjoyed for their individual gifts and recognized for their uniqueness.
Despite their hectic life while raising nine kids, Jim and Geri always made their marriage and relationship a priority. At least one night a week was designated as a “date night”. These could be special events with friends or a quiet dinner for two at one of their favorite restaurants. Geri had an innate sense of style and always dressed “to the nines” for these outings. During the balmy days and nights of spring, summer and fall they could be found cruising together in their convertible.
Geri rooted her life on the old-fashioned values of faith, family and hard work. As a charter member of St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church, she generously spent her time, talents and treasures supporting her parish. Much like Luke’s Martha, she quietly served behind the scenes. Several pastors recognized her gifts and recruited Geri to become actively involved in the parish. Whenever they approached her with a need she stepped up to fill the void. As she fulfilled each new request, Geri evolved into the original Church Basement Lady. Her first role began while she was a busy young mother when the pastor asked for her help maintaining church vestments and altar clothes. For many years Geri donated her time to spot treating stains, washing and ironing the liturgical cloths, priest’s vestments and altar boy surplices. Since the Dominican sisters who served the school had no means of transportation, she also cared for their needs by driving them to appointments and the grocery store. They were often the recipients of her fabulous baked goods as well. The Pastors were quick to note Geri’s willingness to serve, endless energy, and organizational skill and soon asked her to take on more challenging positions in the Parish. At the request of Bishop Dunn, Geri served on the Parish Council where she proposed and implemented the celebration of Octoberfest, to build community and raise funds for the parish needs. One of Geri’s most important ministries was introducing and implementing funeral dinners. She would plan the dinner menu, then line up and direct volunteers to supply additional dishes, help serve the food and coordinate clean up.
Although diminutive in stature, Geri was a force to be reckoned with in her domain She ruled her household and nine children with a firm hand and a heart full of love. She taught them to celebrate who they were and the strengths they had. Everyone learned from a young age to share in the responsibilities of maintaining a large family. Geri expected each child to do their best with their God-given talent by guiding her children through their mistakes and celebrating their accomplishments. Her love of cooking and entertaining spilled over to family and friends. Every family member sat down together each night for a delicious home cooked meal. On Sunday evening, both sets of Grandparents were included for an extended family dinner. These meals were more elaborate and included the basic food groups of meat, potatoes, fruit, vegetables and an amazing dessert bar.
There was always enough room in the Walsh house and at the table for any extra visitors the children might drag home after a day of school or sports activities. The family meals were often opened up to neighboring kids and school friends who managed to stay around as dinner was starting. Somehow, the food never ran out and everyone had a full belly. Geri was known far and wide for her delicious baked goods which included fresh cookies, brownies, cakes and cheese cakes.
Each and every one of Geri’s grandkids were equally spoiled with her secret stash of candy bars, m and m’s, and freshly made cookies which were always available for them to enjoy. They also knew that her favorite season was Christmas. Geri celebrated by decorating the trees, the entire house, and baking copious supplies of cookies and breads. The grandkids fondly recall their time gathered together with an amazing display of food to sample, watching family movies, playing games and unwrapping the wealth of presents under the tree. Another favorite memory was being picked up from school in Grandma’s convertible because all of the other kids were jealous of your cool ride.
Geri also was a member of a Mother’s Club known as Our Lady of Good Counsel for 50 years. This group met once a month as a social outlet, support group and to serve others. One of their ministries was to plan activities and games for a July celebration held for the elderly at Stone Hill They planned and held a similar event for the retired Presentation Sisters as well. The club members always got a chuckle out of how competitive the sisters were in Bingo, as they each tried to beat out the other members to win the prize. It was rumored there may have been a cheater or two in the convent,
Geri is survived by her nine children, Tim (Connie) Walsh, David (Judy) Walsh, Jane (Chuck ) Northrup, James A. Walsh, Mike (Christina/Tina) Walsh, John (Renee) Walsh all of Dubuque. Kate (Rick Venabel) Walsh of Pleasant Valley, IA. Tom (Carman) Walsh of Iowa City, IA and Mary (Mike) Hermansen of Shorewood, Mn. 20 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, one brother Don (Martha) Roethig, and a brother-in-law Michael (Mary Alice) Walsh.
She was preceded in death by her husband Jim, her parents, Leo and Margaret Roethig and two brothers Bob and Leo Roethig.
The Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials will be distributed to Geri’s favorite charities.
The family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to Christa Weber, Karina Sauser, and their staff for their compassionate care and compassion. A special thank you goes out to the staff and residents of Luther Manor Community for welcoming Geri into your hearts. Your loving care, expertise and support will never be forgotten. Lastly our gratitude goes out all of the staff at Mercy One for their loving care of Geri and the support they extended to our family during this difficult time.
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