Gerald E. DeWitt, age 88, died on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, at Mill Cove Nursing Home, NB. He is survived by children Donna Munn, Geraldine Blunston, Kenneth and Steven (Michael Young); Barbara Gunderson, who was like a daughter to him; 7 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded by parents Hazen and Grace (Tracy); his beloved wife of 66 years, Margaret (Desaulniers); siblings Albert, Mary and Robert; and son-in-law Eric Munn.
Born in Tracy, NB, on September 20, 1931, Gerry soon moved with his family to Saint John, where as a boy he showed the entrepreneurial spirit that would guide his later life, standing at the foot of King Street selling newspapers for 4 cents and pretending he didn’t have any pennies so that he could keep the change from a nickel. After moving to Fredericton as a teen, he met Margaret one day while they were tobboganing with friends on Smythe Street; they married in 1950 and were inseparable until her death in 2017. He spent many years in the Canadian Armed Forces Militia and retired as a Master Warrant Officer. In 1983, he and Marg opened a Radio Shack store in Sussex, NB, which they operated for many years. In retirement, he and Marg spent many winters in Sebring, Fla. Most of all, he loved working in and around their home since 1989 on beautiful Grand Lake and spending many happy hours with Marg on their deck overlooking the water with wine glass in hand.
Gerry was the good neighbour that people dream of having. Even well into his 80s, although reluctant to ask for help himself, he never hesitated to throw his coat on and buzz down the road to help a friend with any kind of job, always refusing offers of payment and saying, “Just being neighbourly.” Although he left school after grade 8, he was amazingly resourceful and could figure out how to do anything on his own, including once building a functioning houseboat (which he named the Eugenie, Marg’s middle name) from plans he ordered out of a magazine. He was also determined: no matter what challenge arose in life, he made a list and then tackled it head on and found some ingenious way to get the job done, whether it was fixing a leak or running a business. When Marg got sick and he finally encountered the one challenge he couldn’t overcome, he never even considered giving up, intent on keeping her at home and her life normal, valiantly caring for her around the clock and talking about trips they might still be able to take someday. Never one to talk about his feelings, he generally figured that life on Earth was all there was, but after Marg’s death all he talked about was seeing her again. In his very last moments, we know that they were reunited.
A service will be held at Youngs Cove United Church, NB, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19. Reception to follow at Coles Island Lions Club. In lieu of flowers, Gerry would be happy to see you donate to either of those important local organizations.
Thank you to the fantastic staff at Mill Cove Nursing Home for their outstanding care, support and humanity; and to the entire staff of the South wing at Sussex Health Centre. Special thanks also to Gerry and Marg’s cherished friends Al and Arline Landry, Ron and Rosalyn Oxford, and the entire Sunset Lane community.
Arrangements in Professional Care of Sunbury Funeral Home Online condolence: sunburyfuneralhome.com
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