Mary Gershkoff, 1923 ~ 2011

Originally published on Friday, July 8, 2011 at 10:04pm

Mary Gershkoff

Thank you to all of our friends and family who were able to drop by Thursday evening or attend Friday’s services in Cranston and Exeter.

Mary enjoyed a long life rich with experience, family and love, and in the end that is all one could ever ask for.  She lived to see many grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  Many of us were fortunate enough to attend a large family gathering at my home in Warwick only a few weeks ago, where Mary met her newest great-grandson Andrew Martin Hanson for the first time, born in February to my sister Sara and her husband Pete in Coral Springs, FL.

Following the mass in Cranston, a small ceremony was held in the cemetery chapel in Exeter, during which Sara read aloud, with some difficulty, the moving remembrance that appears below.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mary’s memory may be made to the Providence Journal Summertime Fund; 75 Fountain St. Providence, RI 02902 or to the RI Community Food Bank; 200 Niantic Ave. Providence, RI 02907.

Remembering Grandma
By Sara Berman Hanson

Everyone who knew my Grandma knows that she never forgot anything, holidays, graduations, birthdays; her cards and gifts were always the first to come in the mail.  In response, I would sometimes call to say “thank you”, but I would always make sure to send a thank you note as soon as possible.

When we returned from our recent trip to Rhode Island, sitting at the top of a large stack of mail was an anniversary card from Grandma, right on time, of course.   It was a busy week and I didn’t get the chance to call.   I had written a thank you note and was planning on buying some stamps when my Mom called to say she had passed away.  It was the first thing I thought of–I would never get to send her that thank you note.  So, instead of getting mad at myself, I decided to write Grandma a new thank you note; here it is:

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for taking care of me when I was little. I could always stay with you if I was home sick from school.  You made the chicken pox less itchy.

During a time when most other grandparents were making do with PBS you and Poppy had cable.  Thank you for providing my brother, cousins and I with Nickelodeon.

Thank you for tiny cans of chicken noodle soup, Tang juice boxes and Ande’s candies.

Thank you for allowing me to stay up late and watch “Murder She Wrote” with you.  I was six, had no clue what the show was about, and felt sooo grown up.

Thank you for my add-a-pearl necklace.

Thank you for coming to visit every Sunday when we were small and for bringing Pepperidge Farm cookies, my parents would never buy them.

Thank you for letting me believe that the chandeliers in your lobby were made of diamonds.

Thank you for sending not just me mail, but also my sad, non-mail-receiving collage roommates as well.

Thank you for having a great sense of humor, it always allowed me the freedom to send you funny cards.

Thank you for always keeping crayons and coloring books in your bottom dresser drawer for us.

I could go on and on but, lastly, I would like to say thank you for being not just a great Grandmother, but an amazing person; always caring and patient.  You were always a wonderful listener, someone who never complained and never had a mean word to say about others, a role model and constant presence in my life.

I am not sure who I will call when I am in need of  a name, date or time when something happened.  I don’t know who I will turn to if I need to know where  a building in Providence used to be.   I do know, that it will be during these times that I will think of you, Grandma, and smile.   Thank you.


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