Sadly, after a brief illness, Geraldine Lillian Danish (MacKinnon) peacefully passed away on November 15, 2022, at Trustbridge Hospice.
Geri, or “Deeni” as she was called by some of her nine siblings, was born in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Canada on January 21, 1946, the youngest child of George Everett and Edith Mabel MacKinnon. Geri left the Canadian Maritimes with her family and moved to Hamilton, Ontario, when she was nine years old.
Geri began her career as a secretary, working for the Board of Education in Hamilton. She met her husband, Winfred Danish, at a dance hall in Youngstown, New York.
Win and Geri married in a Catholic ceremony on November 25, 1967. She worked as a secretary for Niagara University and was an active volunteer with the Youngstown Civic Guild. The couple had three children, Diana, Lisa and Michael.
Quick to learn and always innovative, Geri sewed clothing for herself and her children during their early years. Sewing was a life-long hobby for Geri that was complimented by her creativity and love of crafting. Her gem-studded mirrors and Christmas works of art were admired by many.
Win and Geri were always saving, building, maintaining and improving. In the early years of their marriage, they built a red-brick home with a cedar-shingled mandarin roof on Oak Street in Youngstown, based on plans sourced from Better Homes and Gardens. Years later, their children’s friends would call it “The Pizza-Hut House” because of its distinctive roof.
In addition to the house, they built a garage with storage and work rooms, a detached office, and children’s playhouse, on the Oak Street property. During the 1980s, they built a ranch house on East Avenue in the Town of Porter, where they expected to move when they retired.
In summers when the children were young, the family would sail to different ports around Lake Ontario; first on the Nina, a wooden sailboat, then The Edward D., a Grampian 26, and finally, Pangaea, a Pearson 35. They were long-time members of Tuscarora Yacht Club in Wilson, NY.
An inveterate bookkeeper and businesswoman, Geri started The Cinderella Shop, a consignment boutique for women’s and children’s clothing, in 1980. She operated the business on Center Street in Lewiston, NY, until she sold it, and retired, in 2000. The Cinderella Shop’s customers would remember her as having an amazing memory for what they purchased on their last visit—whether weeks or months before. She was beloved by her clientele for her cheerful demeanor and attention to their individual needs, whether for a specific outfit, or just good company.
Seeking warmer winters in their retirement, Win and Geri moved from Youngstown to Edenton, North Carolina. Through St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Edenton, Geri made friends among the members of a sewing group. She and Win also became active members of the Edenton Yacht Club. Geri learned to play Bridge and enjoyed games where she could flex her social skills and strategic thinking at the same time.
In 2005 and 2006, Geri spent many weeks in Richmond, Virginia, supporting her daughter Diana, who passed away from breast cancer in February 2006. Then the following year, Win and Geri spent many weeks in Desbarats, Ontario, on the northern shore of Lake Huron, caring for Win’s uncle, Bert, who passed away in 2007.
Win and Geri started spending their winter months at a home in Boynton Beach, Florida, part of Palm Beach Leisureville, in 2010. Geri had a great eye for bargains on quality things, and often had fun on routine shopping trips with her snowbird friends. She and Win also enjoyed parties and events hosted by the Canadian Club.
Win and Geri celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a surprise party organized by their friends and family in 2017.
Geri was a community-minded person who believed in the importance of social graces and good manners. Although she was practical and often direct, she also exuded joie de vivre that made her easy to befriend and spend time with.
Geraldine is survived by her husband Winfred, son Michael and his wife Duffy of Norfolk, Va., daughter Lisa and her husband David of Charlottesville, Va., grandchildren Madison, Alexander, Nathaniel, Ethan and Edward, siblings Barbara, Garfield, Helen and Winston, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her daughter, Diana (Danish) Little of Richmond, Va., and her siblings Donald, Isabel, Charles and Earl.
She will be laid to rest in the late spring of 2023 in Oakland Rural Cemetery in Youngstown, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent in her memory to the American Cancer Society at http://www.cancer.org