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Remembrance of the Life of Joy Gerity CoL

Posted on May 31, 2021, by Regina Drey SL

Joy Gerity CoL
Sept. 24, 1940 – May 31, 2021

Ed and Lois Gerity chose the perfect name when their middle child and only daughter was born on Sept. 24, 1940.   

Joy lived up to her name in every way possible. She exuded enthusiasm, making everyone feel comfortable, welcome and happy. 

A lot of what Joy valued and loved began in her home: Her mother was a master baker and passed that on to Joy, who often made the desserts for her parents and brothers Carl and Ted. Joy loved small, fun woodworking projects and could fix nearly everything in the house.  And her parents’ love of cars and road rallies no doubt influenced her buying a Lexus. 

Joy was a lifelong learner. She began her education at St. Vincent’s not far from her home in Bonnie Brae, then on to St. Mary’s Academy where she graduated in 1958.  She graduated from Marymount in LA, and in Denver earned master’s degrees from the University of Denver and the University of Colorado, both of which contributed to her successful 34-year career at St. Mary’s Academy as a high school English teacher, Middle School principal for many years, curriculum director and counselor.  She was the ultimate Middle School principal, understanding the needs of pre-adolescents and genuinely loving those kids and making sure their days were full of learning and also fun and adventure.

Joy was an optimist and hard worker, so when she was asked to be part of a small group that would be the founders of Escuela de Guadalupe in north Denver, she brought her experience, passion and positive energy to help create an extraordinary place of learning. Joy seldom boasted about her accomplishments, but she would acknowledge the pride she felt in joining Susan Swain as the two founders from the Loretto Community.

Joy became a co-member in the Loretto Community 46 years ago. In Loretto her many talents found new outlets as she was involved in numerous committees, workshop and program planning, serving on the staff for more than 18 years, and facilitating small meetings and large assemblies. It’s impossible to think of a time she wasn’t planning a topical, scouting the latest Brenee Brown video, creating the layout and design for a booklet, collaborating on a new project, writing and editing, or helping to shape PJ’s book on Loretto in China or the first collection of Cecily’s poetry. She was ready and excited for any new project that came her way.  Among her first was she becoming one of the co-editors of “Interchange” after Cecily Jones illustrious and storied career. Those were indeed big shoes to fill.

Joy delighted in so many things: Santa Fe and Georgia O’Keeffe; the Botanic Gardens; Linda Rondstadt, Carole King and James Taylor; her patio full of bright flowers; jigsaw puzzles; Broadway shows and museums; peonies and winter pansies; Molly Cat and Frisky; the Denver Broncos, buttered popcorn; adventures and fun.  And first and always, her family.

Joy is preceded in death by her parents Ed and Lois and her brother Carl.  Joy is survived by her brother Ted, and sister-in-law Jacki Gerity.  Most of all she leaves behind a legacy in her daughters and grandchildren:  Sharon Garcia of Chula Vista, Calif., and her children Alexa and Kiko, all who live in San Diego, and Lisa Carpenter and her husband Jan and their children Corey and Maddy.

We will miss you — mother, grandmother, friend, colleague — and cherish you always.

Regina Drey SL

Regina Drey SL

Regina is historian/director of Loretto projects at St. Mary’s Academy in Englewood, Colo.

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