Geraldine Marie McLaughlin Hutchison, 93, of Wilmington, DE, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving children on Friday, November 10, 2023.
Gerri was born in Chester, PA, the daughter of the late Daniel A. and Gertrude B. McLaughlin. She grew up in Wilmington and was a student leader and athlete at Ursuline Academy. She attended Immaculata University in Malvern, PA where she continued to excel in both field hockey and basketball. She graduated in 1952 with a degree in Home Economics and Nutrition.
Gerri began her 69-year marriage to the late William F. Hutchison, Jr. in 1952, and her eight children followed quickly over the next ten years. She moved her family twice from Wilmington when her husband was placed on active duty in the Air Force, to Hermosa Beach, CA in 1960 and to Montgomery, AL in 1967.
Throughout her life, Gerri managed everything that came her way with inimitable grace, humor, and efficiency. Her happiest moments were those spent with her family and close friends. Over the years, her home in Sharpley was the gathering place for holidays, birthdays, graduations, reunions, cast parties, and bridge clubs. She handled each event with ease and elegance, whether there were 10 or 50 people to feed. She engaged her family in her love for musical theater and opera and enjoyed visiting New York City to see live performances of her favorites. Summer vacations were spent in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, often with her sister Martha McKernan’s family, which resulted in memorable times with 13 cousins and four adults under one roof.
As Gerri’s eight children grew, she began to look for ways to put her considerable creative skills to work. In 1970, she accepted a position as a part-time copywriter for Shipley Associates, a Wilmington advertising agency. She rapidly expanded her role at the agency, and in 1974, she was promoted to Vice President and Media Director. Gerri was responsible for numerous award-winning campaigns for her clients, including the Brandywine Raceway, Dover Downs, and Rollins Cablevision.
After she retired from Shipley Associates in 1995, Gerri enjoyed spending winters in Marco Island, Florida with her husband and children, who visited frequently. She delighted in her 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren who called her Gigi.
Gerri is survived by her eight children: Elizabeth Hutchison of Wilmington, DE, Pamela Lafferty (Jed) of Cape Charles, VA, Joan Tremain (Robert) of Wilmington, DE, William F. III (Lisa) of Wilmington, DE, Meg Bonda (Gregg) of Sunset Beach, NC, Martha Hannig (Stephen) of Claymont, DE, Laura Bozentka (Paul) of Palmetto, FL and John (Amy) of Sayville, NY; 15 grandchildren: Katelyn Crook, William Tremain, John Lafferty, Julianna Kaplan, Stephen Hannig, Jean Hutchison, Samuel Bonda, Mitchell Bozentka, Thomas Hannig, Emily Hutchison, Maxwell Bonda, Sarah Hannig, Dillon Hutchison, Nicole Bozentka, and Johnna Hutchison; and 7 great-grandchildren—Madeline, Harrison, Audrey, Benjamin, Charles, Emilia, and Abigail. She is also survived by many devoted nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her two sisters, Maryjane McLaughlin and Martha McKernan, and a brother, John McLaughlin.
Friends may call Saturday, December 2 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Rd., Wilmington, DE. A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m., with burial to follow at the church.
Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Children & Families First, 555 Justison Street, Suite 150, Wilmington, DE 19801. www.cffde.org/donate
To send online condolences, visit www.mccreryandharra.com