Josephine's Story

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A Celebration of Life, Holy Eucharist Service, will be held for Josephine K. Gerner, 92, a longtime Lockport resident, on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 1:00 PM at Grace Episcopal Church, 100 Genesee Street, Lockport. Burial will be private.
After a long and fulfilling life, Mrs. Gerner died on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, at Briody Health Care Facility in Lockport where she had been residing for the past five years and was in declining health. Mrs. Gerner was able to remain cheerful despite her growing frailty. She accepted her limitations as they came along and welcomed invigorating conversations with family members, friends, and nursing home staff. Mrs. Gerner was well-mannered, soft-spoken, interesting, and a good listener. These traits drew people of all ages to her. She enjoyed listening to classical music, watching public television, and was a collector of fine antiques.
Mrs. Gerner was born in Buffalo, NY, on February 20, 1925. She graduated from Bennett High School, where her father, Alfred W. Smith, a retired Army Colonel, was head of the math department. After high school, Josephine followed her mother's footsteps by pursuing a nursing career. She graduated from the nursing school at Children's Hospital in Buffalo. Nurse Gerner practiced her profession for several years, a vocation that she thoroughly enjoyed. She kept in touch with her nursing class throughout her life. On January 24, 1959, Josephine married William J. Gerner, the city engineer for the City of Lockport. They remained happily married until his death in 2002. The couple had no children.
Josephine was preceded in death by her mother, Isabelle Wright Smith, and father, both life-long residents of Buffalo; brother, Alfred W. Smith, Jr. of Birmingham, MI; and nephew, Alfred W. Smith III of Farmington Hills, MI. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Marjorie E. Smith, of Birmingham, MI; and was the beloved aunt and great aunt to numerous nieces and nephews on both sides of her family.
Her family and friends loved her very much. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to WNED-TV, P.O. Box 1263, Buffalo, NY, 14240.
Published on April 21, 2017
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