Geraldine ‘Geri’ (Racicot) DeMars
ESCANABA — Geraldine “Geri” (Racicot) DeMars passed away on Jan. 1, 2019 at OSF St. Francis Hospital at the age of 94. Geri was born on July 10, 1924 to Louis and Selma (Schuster) Racicot in Schaffer, Mich. At a young age, she started working alongside her father in the Schaffer General Store. She graduated in 1941 from Escanaba High School. After high school, she was diagnosed with pleurisy, preventing her from fulfilling her dream of joining the military to serve in World War II as a photographer. However, she was able to move to Milwaukee, Wis., to work in a munitions plant to aid the war effort.
Geri was united in marriage to Gordon DeMars on Sept. 12, 1946 at Sacred Heart Church in Schaffer. He preceded her in death on Jan. 29, 1997. They began their married life together in a tiny trailer in her in-law’s backyard on 14th Street in Escanaba. They welcomed daughter Rose Cecile. As the family outgrew the trailer, they moved to the “little” house next to Lakeview Cemetery and added two more children, son Greg and daughter Paula. Two-year old Greg would surprise her with fresh flowers from the cemetery.
They moved to their house on 8th Street and resided there for 36.5 years and had daughters Fran and Sally and sons Steve and Mark. She was active in the PTAs at St. Joseph and Holy Name schools while her children attended and later served as Eucharist Minister at St. Anthony’s Church in Wells.
While raising her family, she began working for the Stein brothers at their numerous businesses as bookkeeper and continued working into her late 70s for Wes Peterson at Drifters Restaurant when she retired. While working for them, she was able to travel for business and went on a Caribbean cruise, and to conventions in Washington, DC and Toronto, Ontario. She traveled to Italy with a church-sponsored group and took two of her grandchildren, Brian and Beth Way to visit her children Paula and Steve in Alaska. At the age of 77, she joined Steve on a trip to her new home in Meadow Lakes, Alaska, driving in his motorhome through several states and Canada. Alaska was her residence for 2.5 years before returning to Michigan in 2003. She enjoyed being outside in her flower garden, working puzzles, knitting and spending time with her family. Her grandkids and great-grandkids were the apple of her eye. She will be fondly remembered as a fun gramma.
Geri was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her son Steve, her brothers L. Melvin and Harold “Teen” Racicot, and sisters Eunice (Fred) Morin, Alvera (Fran) Gaudrault, and Dolores (Philip) Viau Cutler.
She is survived by six children, Rose Cecile Nowack, Greg DeMars, Paula Johnson, Fran (Jim) Lundberg, Sally (Mike) Way and Mark DeMars; grandchildren, Matt, Abby and John; Jeremy; Jessica; JoAnne and Amy; Brian, Beth and Brett; Savannah and Noah; great-grandchildren, Ethan and Aiden, Ethan, Teddy and Kat, Trevor, Olivia, Lilly, Jack, Brody and Charlie; Kyleigh, Channing, Elaina, Nickolas and Caroline; sister, Donna (Don) Erickson and four generations of nieces and nephews.
The visitation will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home, 302 S. 13th St., Escanaba. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 5 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Church with Rev. Rick Courier officiating.
Entombment will take place in Gardens of Rest Mausoleum.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the family. A memorial in Geri’s name will be decided at a later date.
The family thanks the marvelous staff at OSF for their care, as well as the Bishop Noa Home staff where she resided in the senior apartments the last five years.
A message of condolence may be directed to the family by visiting crawfordfuneralhomes.net.