Anna Marie was born on April 13, 1937 to Joseph and Frances Shon in Youngstown, OH. After graduating from Rayen High School in 1955, she went on to attend Youngstown University and taught fifth grade at Saint Columba Elementary.
In 1958, during their junior year at college, Anna Marie met the love of her life, Carl William Gerst, Jr. They married on April 18, 1959, and later that summer, moved to Central New York. With two children and a third on the way, they moved from an apartment in North Syracuse to their first house in Skaneateles during 1967.
Anna Marie and her husband, Carl, have always given to causes close to their heart, eschewing recognition. She was a member of St. Mary’s of the Lake Church in Skaneateles, and St. Alphonsus Church in Auburn. Anna Marie and Carl formed a close friendship with Father Lou Vasile, who married two of their children, baptized several grandchildren, and visited with Anna Marie weekly up through time of her passing.
Anna Marie was an avid sports fan, and loved to watch all of her kids and grandkids play sports. She was a fixture at Allyn Arena in the 70s and 80s, watching her three boys play hockey. Whether live or on TV, there were not many sports she did not like to watch with her husband. When Patrick Mahomes came onto the scene, she became an instant Kansas City Chiefs fan (as well as a fan of his wife and family). Carl and Anna Marie missed very few Yankees games, especially this summer, with Aaron Judge chasing 61 home runs. The family knew they would be scolded for calls during any SU basketball, Football, or Lacrosse game (especially last year when her second nephew, Mikey Berkman, was playing). Watching any sporting event with her, you were treated to better color commentary than any network announcer.
Anna Marie was predeceased by her beloved mother and father, Frances and Joseph, and brother, Samuel Shon. Anna Marie is survived by her husband of 63 years, Carl. Her children, Mary (Ken) Hardy, Maureen (Scott) Stalica, Carl (Ingrid) Gerst III, Greg Gerst; Gary (Lynda) Gerst, Amy (Todd) Ruetsch; and Christine Gerst. Anna Marie cherished her twenty grandchildren: Sean, Samantha, and Rileigh Hardy; Gina, Alex, Danny and Sara Stalica; Aidan Loftus, Samuel, and Carl William Gerst IV; Matthew and Natalie Gerst; Nathan, Thomas, and Addy Gerst; Hannah, Jack, Connor, Hank, and Tyler Ruetsch. Anna Marie is also survived by her sisters Mary Bartlemay and Francie (Jerome) Keating.
Anna Marie loved life to the fullest, especially time spent with her family. Anna Marie doted on her “boyfriend”, Carl, and on Christine, their youngest daughter. As a special needs adult, Christine (the “Angel” of the family) has always lived at the family home with a dedicated caregiving team throughout her adulthood. This team includes Terry Patrick, Atsje Zuidema, Kim Bobbett, Holly Falso, Cindy Lynn, Trish Hoadley, and Paige Boratko. The following quote embodies how Anna Marie felt towards her own family, and this amazing, loving team of women: “In Family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together and the music that brings harmony.” by Eva Burrows. The family wants to thank the loving end-of-life care from Dee Sweet, her team, and Hospice of Central New York.
The funeral will be held at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church in Skaneateles, NY, at 10 am on Tuesday, December 20th; there will be a Celebration of Life Reception after mass at The Lodge (4355 State Street, Skaneateles Falls, 13153), and all are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Anna Marie’s memory to the Hospice of Central New York and of the Finger Lakes by clicking here: Hospice Donation.
To send condolences, visit robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.