Geraldine Katherine Nelson
November 21, 1947 - December 9, 2018
Tewksbury Township, NJ– Geraldine Katherine Nelson, 71, passed away on Sunday, December 9th after a long battle with depression and anxiety, which she fought with an incredible amount of strength and heart. Geraldine will best be remembered for her fun-loving, independent spirit, and for being an altruistic mother, sister, grandmother, and friend. Born in Brooklyn, NY to Grace Dowling and Harold Nelson, she spent most of her life living in New York City, very well-known to all in her neighborhood. Geraldine was predeceased by her partner in life, David Humphries. She devotedly and unconditionally cared for Dave with love, respect and kindness, as well spread kindness to her local ailing neighbors by spending time, preparing meals, or running errands for them until their final song.
Geraldine was blessed with a huge family and at one time or another has babysat almost everyone in the family. She had a calming and peaceful way with children and there was no one who could cuddle and soothe a baby as effortlessly as she. She was funny, wise, exhibited grace under pressure, and was a passionate spitfire and tireless advocate for what she believed in or for those she felt had been treated unfairly. Geraldine was proud of her achievements, but was no stranger to hard work. For over 10 years she proudly worked at Pete’s Tavern, which still stands strong today as one of the last holdouts in the skyscraper lined streets of her neighborhood. She was a beloved hostess to so many of the patrons who affectionately referred to her as “Red” for her long beautiful red hair, and often teased her for never gaining an ounce of weight while working around so much food. Geraldine was authentically energetic, enthusiastic, and her warmth and smile was so much a part of the reason for so many customers’ return visits. Her customers were special to her and most importantly they felt it. She assured their orders were correct, listened to them, assured they always got their favorite tables, and most of all refused to let them leave without a smile. One Christmas, to show their gratitude, Geraldine received over $5000 in gifts of appreciation and love. Geraldine also worked at her best friend Bonnie’s antique shop on 7th street in the East Village. Bonnie often credited her eye for value and how she instinctively knew what would sell. In later years when Geraldine lost Bonnie, it left an irreplaceable space in her heart that was never filled.
Geraldine is survived by her two loving daughters, Kelly Ketterson of Tewksbury Township, NJ and Kimberly Miller of Lebanon, NJ. She is also survived by her adoring brothers Brian Nelson and Kevin Nelson, and her cherished sister Kelly Nelson and her husband Thomas McGriel. She will be deeply missed by her four grandchildren Stephen, Jackson, Emily and Andrew, as well as her large family full of cousins and friends.
All who loved Geraldine are invited to attend a Celebration of Life at Kearns Funeral Home, 103 Old Highway 28, Whitehouse, NJ 08888 on Saturday, December 15th at 10:30am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Geraldine’s name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (http://www.naminj.org) or Heartworks (NJHeartworks.org)