Obituary of Geraldine J Maurello
Geraldine, “Gigi,” was loved by all who knew her, especially by me. I know how she was loved not only by observation, but also by hearing so many people say how much they loved Geraldine and what a special person she was, and by seeing how many people are here today. Geraldine was a very special person. She found that spark of God within her and she built it into a large flame casting light and joy on everyone around her. Even though I suggested to her many times that she call me “Steve” she never did and always called me “Mr. Greenberg. I think she thought it to be a matter of respect since I am a lawyer - “my lawyer” as she always said. I always called her “Geraldine” rather than “Gigi.” I wanted to show my respect for her. I was lucky enough to know Geraldine for almost 20 years. She made sure that there was never a dull moment between us. I also always had to be on my toes with Geraldine. For example, if it was Summer and I was not tan enough and to Geraldine it did not look like I was spending enough time out side rather than in my office, she would straighten me out, and on and on. She never ceased to cheer me on to do better. For me the best description of Geraldine is simply one word: “Amazing.” In light of her numerous challenges it was not preordained that Geraldine would be “Amazing.” Stereo-typically, with all of those challenges Geraldine could have become a recluse and shut herself off from other people and from the world. Not so, even though she knew she did not start out on a level playing field, Geraldine embraced the world - and every day she tried to live the most normal, positive, life she could, and to be kind to others. She wanted to learn as much as she could about everything and she was constantly expanding her knowledge of people and of the world. She learned to navigate the world very well, in many ways which were important and in other ways which were not as important. For example, if she had a new doctor she could recite for that doctor perfectly and completely all of her maladies and prescriptions and all of the dosages; something many of us cannot do. Of lesser importance, but nonetheless typical of Geraldine, many of our firm’s clients do not navigate our after hours telephone answering system as well as she did. On numerous mornings we were greeted by multiple phone messages left by Geraldine for us late the night before - reporting on all types of events and often referring to numerous items, usually which she saw on television, which she thought could help one of her medical conditions. The message would include how the item could help her, where we could get it and how quickly she wanted it. Geraldine was also a very considerate person. I believe that often she left her messages after hours so as not to take up too much of our time during the day. Her considerate nature extended far beyond this. If you had an upcoming event in your life, or you had been ill, or something similar which she knew about, she would always remember to ask you about it and make sure things were well, or at least better, for you. As a result of all of these qualities Geraldine has many friends. Frankly, I do not know many people who have as many friends as Geraldine. During her last difficult months, whenever I spoke to Geraldine or visited her, the thing she said most often and with the most emotion was that she wanted to “go home.” She meant home to the Spectrum For Living Ringwood Apartments. This was where all of her friends and care givers on the Spectrum For Living staff were and where she knew she would be cared for and be safe. Many of those staff members are here today including Latoya, Susan, Betina, Katie, Lillian, Courtney, Anthony, and others too numerous to name, as well as Tom Donahue, chief programs officer at Spectrum’s corporate headquarters. Thank you so much. Thank you also to Errol Seltzer for his caring and contributions to Geraldine’s well-being, and also to his associate Kaye Yoon. Thank you to all those who took care of her in the hospitals, rehab and other facilities in recent months, as well as her own doctors. Thank you also to everyone at our law firm Greenberg & Lanz, Linda, Sandie and Sharon, who helped take care of Geraldine every day for the last 20 years. As they say, it takes a village. Geraldine had a great village. Geraldine enriched all of our lives. We will miss her every day. Geraldine, Rest in Peace - you earned it.
Steven Morey Greenberg
Dear Spectrum For Living Family:
Ringwood Apartment Family is deeply saddened to share the passing of OUR GIRL, Geraldine “Gigi” on 4/4/2021. Geraldine moved to Ringwood Apartment in 2005. She attended NHATC for many years before transferring to RATC. She became like family to the staff and all those who took care of her. She spent holidays and many celebrations with staff. She left quite an impression on people. Geraldine would always introduce herself as “My name is Geraldine, I’m every man’s dream!” and have everyone in an uproar. She taught us how to be happy because she took joy in simple things: joy in seeing her favorite staff, joy in collecting stuffed animals, beads & bracelets and joy in watching Dr. Phil & Judge Judy, joy in crafting & coloring. She loved her bracelets especially the purple & green glass beaded ones. She was quite fond of “evil eye” charms as she claimed they would bring her good luck. She was quick to point out positive attributes in a person and also sure to share if she thought you’ve gained some weight or a hairstyle that she didn’t care for. She knew she had good hair and was proud of the lack of grey hair someone of her age would have. She loved dancing and she shared stories of her travels with her family when she was young. She loved shopping for new clothes each season:-her shorts, sweaters & flannel pajamas. She was known to call the main line at Ringwood Apt daily to alert staff of the latest health gadgets, treatments or medication that she saw on a commercial that “she must have”. She was well versed on her medical issues and frequently questioned the validity of her providers’ recommendations. Through it all we could look to her for an example of perseverance and inner strength as she continued to fight battles with her health. We will truly Miss Geraldine. Rest In Peace Gigi.
With Love, Ringwood Family.