Geraldine “Geri” Alice Petris, age 84, Tyrone/Dundee, was received into Glory after a valiant battle with her last illness on Wednesday July 19, 2017 at the Homestead, in Penn Yan.
Respecting her wishes there are no prior calling hours. A funeral honoring her life will be held at 10am Friday July 28th at the Waneta Lake Baptist Chapel, 8855 West Waneta Lake Road with Pastor Adam Hunt officiating; burial and committal services directly after the service, at the Tyrone Union Cemetery in Tyrone.
Memorial contributions honoring her life may be given to the Mustard Seed ministries @ the Weston Schoolhouse, P.O. Box 73, Tyrone NY 14887.
“Geri” was born in Nunda, NY on June 1, 1933 to George William and Josephine Margaret (Haldeman) Withey. She was the 2nd of five children. She was 20 years young, while visiting her older sister Shirley; she walked down the road to the Petris Farm and asked John Petris if he would teach her how to milk cows. Within a few short weeks, they were married by Rev. Ben Disbrow in Dundee and on their way to New York City for a week long honeymoon. Upon returning, she assumed this responsibility for 35 years until they retired from dairy farming in 1988. Geri was the perfect wife, herdswoman, business Partner, and mother. The Petris Farm was a “busy beehive” during the summer harvest months with relatives and friends pitching in. Geri always unloaded the hay to the boys in the mow. Mary Litteer always said no one could unload wagons faster than Geri Petris.
In 1952 “Geri” decided to help in the Korean War conflict and was employed by Mercury Aircraft and worked there until 1957. She enjoyed Otto and Carl Kohl and her manager Harry Saltzman, would visit and land his plane on the Petris Farm.
She was a member of the Weston Presbyterian Church throughout her adult life and was very active in many aspects of the ministry. She was very close to the Allen, Bailey, Barker, Carpenter, DeCamp, Disbrow, Dykes, Grace, Litteer, Saunders, Skeleton, Steiner, and Families with Jackie Steiner being her “Spiritual Sister.” Geri also ministered at the Mustard Seed Ministries, food pantries, and participated in many bible studies around the area. She enjoyed very much the Presbytery of Geneva meetings which she attended for many years. She enjoyed making many craft projects at Home Bureau with her very good friends, Judi Robertson, Joyce Perry, and Kay Couse. Judi Robertson called her “A Great Lady.” Geri also had a great love for the trust group in Bath and attended it whenever she could. Her great love was always visiting and ministering to all her friends and family and giving of herself. After retiring from milking cows in 1988, she had spare time to pursue new interests. Geri decided since she was never able to finish school, having quit in the 10th grade, she would go back to School and obtain her high school diploma which she did in the early 1990’s. After this, she took an interest in town politics and in the late 1990’s she became the first councilwoman for the Town of Tyrone. She retired from her position after serving nearly four terms. She was a mentor to many who worked on the Petris Farm. Many of these young people have returned and thanked her for the wisdom and instruction she shared with them. After suffering an illness in 2012, she became somewhat homebound and enjoyed many visits from her good friends; J. Robert Allen, Randy Andrews, Cliffy Perry, Gary Oborne, Doug Combs, Robert Wylie, Cubby and Harold Gerow and John and Pam Grimmke.
She is pictured with Mike Wolfe in 2015 when he and Frank Fritz of the TV show American Pickers visited the Petris Farm for two days and Mike Wolfe called her “Honey” as so many did throughout her life.
She is sadly missed by her husband of nearly 65 years, John Sr.; son Johnnie both at home; daughters Mary (Lonnie) Chappell and Kathy Petris of Springfield Massachusetts; sisters Shirley Buchanan of Wayland, and Florence “Pat” Hagadorn of Sun City Center, Florida; four grandchildren, Miquel, Kya, Alexis, and Alon as well as several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by not only her parents, but a brother Farley Earl Withey, and a sister Mary “mar-mar” Jean Gross.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Baird Funeral Home 36 Water St. Dundee. To leave online condolences to the family please visit bairdfuneralhomedundee.com