Dolores Irene (Root) Gerety, 90, of Newtown, passed away peacefully at 7:25 am on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at The Lutheran Home of Southbury. She was beloved, surrounded and comforted by her family.
Born June 1, 1929, at Stamford Hospital to Sydney Howes Root (Mullins/Alden) (b. August 1, 1906 in Greenwich (Cos Cob), Conn.; d. February 6, 1972 in Westport, Conn.), of Mayflower ancestry, and Irene Jeanette (Large) Root (b. July 4, 1910 in Brooklyn, N.Y.; d. May 24, 2002 in Southbury, Conn.), who were long-time residents at 46 Riverside Avenue, Westport.
Her paternal grandfather, Harvey Woods Root (b. February 12 1876, in Greenwich, Mass.; d. June 14, 1966 in Norwalk, Conn.), a writer, sculptor, builder, and businessman, and grandmother, Ella Seriah Howes (b. April 28, 1876 in Conway, Mass.; d. October 16, 1967 in Norwalk, Conn.), a one-room schoolteacher, were married August 31, 1903 in Greenwich, Mass., settling finally in Wilton, Conn.
Dolores married Eugene Peter Gerety (b. September 20, 1920 in Shelton, Conn.; d. February 16, 1997 at Danbury Hospital) on June 23, 1951 at St Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, Fairfield. It was an interdenominational ceremony (she was Episcopalian at the time) performed “inside the rail” as officiated by her groom’s eldest brother, the now late Archbishop Emeritus of Newark Peter Leo Gerety, anticipating Vatican II reforms ahead of his time.
Dolores and Gene were the love of each other’s lives. They met through their mutual love of music. Dolores, a gifted pianist and organist, studied under Clarence Cable and played at various churches in the Norwalk-Wilton-Westport area where she grew up, including Zion’s Hill Methodist, St Paul’s Episcopal, and others.
She was the beautiful New England Yankee piano accompanist for voice teacher Nino Bellasai. Gene was the handsome Irish American voice student blessed with a lovely tenor voice. A resonant chord was struck and the two fell deeply in love. Together they watched the jeweler cut the diamond for her engagement ring, which Gene took and placed on Dolores’ finger by the famous canon monument in Cannondale, Conn. Their family would come to benefit from their pleasant personalities and many creative, technical, artistic talents and interests. The large extended Gerety and Root families made for wonderful gatherings and fond memories over the years.
Dolores graduated from Danbury State Teachers College (now WCSU) prior to marriage. She taught elementary school for several years at Timothy Dwight School. With the start of her family, she began substitute teaching in the Fairfield Public School System, at times including in her own children’s classes.
The family moved from Fairfield to Newtown in 1969 and happily welcomed their sixth child in 1970. Dolores was the organist and choir director at St Rose of Lima Church from the early ‘70s to 2000. She had a deep spirituality and converted to Catholicism concurrent with her fourth child’s confirmation, at which point her mother, Irene, who had been baptized Catholic and orphaned before the age of 10, returned to her childhood faith. Both were parishioners at St Rose of Lima.
She is survived by her six children, ten grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, which include: Eugene Peter Gerety and wife, Patricia (Dytkowski), of Seymour, Conn., and their three children, Christine Frances Gerety of Branford, Conn., Michael Gerety and wife, Lianne (Morales), of Southington, Conn., and his child, and Kenneth Ryan Gerety of Seymour, Conn.; Paul David Gerety of Danbury, Conn.; Ellen Dáirinn (Gerety) MD, and husband, Greg Johnson, MD, of North Andover, Mass., and her two children, Douglas Charles McAdams, MD, and wife, Stephanie (Corbet), of East Lyme, Conn. (seven children); Sarah Jeanne (McAdams) and husband, Kevin Bedan, of Wallingford, Conn. (two children); Philip Charles Gerety of Westport, Conn.; John Owen Gerety and wife, Christine (Komornik), of Newtown, Conn., and their three children, Sean Christopher Gerety and wife, Tanya (Thabjan), of Alexandria, Va., Tiffany Gerety of Newtown, Conn., and Leigh Gerety of Newtown, Conn.; and Kathryn Leigh (Gerety) and husband, Patrick Raffaele, of Sherman, Conn., and their children, Kaelyn Anne and Ella Marie of Sherman, Conn.
A brother, Harvey Crowell Root, and wife, Kathy, of Middlebury, Conn.; a sister-in-law, Eleanor (Soley) Root, of Weston, Conn.; a sister-in-law, Gertrude Marie (Leary) Gerety, of Windsor Locks, Conn.; a son-in-law, Arthur Clement McAdams III, of Fairfield, Conn.; a cousin, Susan Clifford, of California; and many nieces and nephews survive her, as well.
Calling hours will be Tuesday, October 8, from 5 to 8 pm, at Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street, Newtown. For information call 203-426-2751 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 am on Wednesday, October 9, at St Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, 46 Church Hill Road, Newtown, with committal to follow at St Rose of Lima Cemetery, Cherry Street, Sandy Hook.