Geraldine Learie (Howell) Bastable
April 2, 2017
Geraldine “Gerry” H. Bastable, born January 12, 1920 in East Moriches, Long Island as the oldest of three children of Ridgeway Taylor and Ruth Learie Howell, passed away peacefully at the age of 97 on April 2, 2017 at Francis House, Syracuse, NY. Barely five feet tall, she was affectionately known by many as “Big Gerry”. She graduated from Center Moriches High School and became a registered nurse after completing nursing school at The Brooklyn Hospital, where she worked as a surgical nurse. In 1944, she married Stephen Bastable, MD and in 1947 they moved to Syracuse, where her husband practiced as an orthopedic surgeon and co-founded what is now the Orthopedic Residency at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. Gerry was a member of the Pebble Hill Presbyterian Church and the Crouse Hospital Auxiliary, was an active United Way supporter, and served as a volunteer with the American Red Cross Nursing Services. Her pride and passion for the profession of nursing were manifest in the precision, discipline, detail, and compassion she practiced in every aspect of her life.
Gerry never lost her love for Long Island and everything related to the ocean---the beaches, the sun, the sand, the birds, and being on the water in her Boston Whaler. While she traveled many places, her favorite destination was Hawaii and the Lago Mar Hotel in Ft Lauderdale, FL., which she and her husband visited annually for over 50 years. For decades, Gerry swam daily in the Nottingham High pool, an exercise routine that, no doubt, contributed to her good health and mobility. She enjoyed all things homemade and handmade, including cooking and baking, leather working and pottery, gardening, and creating beautiful garments with her sewing group for over thirty years. Gerry was known for her exceptionally strong will, self-driven personality, solid work ethic, and a deep loyalty to and love for family and friends. She was always there for anyone who needed her.
She had special pride in the military service of her father (US Coast Guard-WWI), brother (US Navy-WWII), husband (US Army-WWII), grandson (US Navy), granddaughter (US Navy) and her grandson-in-law (US Navy), forever honoring what they did for their country.
Gerry was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Stephen Bastable, MD in 2000 and her sister Ruth Jacqueline Hololob, Yaphank, NY. She is survived by her daughter Jill H. Bastable, MD of East Moriches, NY, son S. Jeffrey (Susan) Bastable of Fayetteville, NY, grandchildren S. Garrett Bastable of Fayetteville, NY and Leigh Bastable Poitevent (E. Scott) of Charlestown, MA, great granddaughter Marion Learie Poitevent, and her brother LeGrande R.(Jane) Howell of Eliot, ME.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to the caregivers at Brookdale Manlius, Hospice of CNY, and Francis House and to her personal caregiver Galina Radchuk, all of whom assured comfort and caring to life’s end and made sure her treasured smile was lasting.
Contributions may be made in her name to the Orthopedic Research and Education Fund (noted in the “for” line) with checks payable to the Upstate Foundation, 750 East Adams St., CAB 326, Syracuse, NY 13210 or to Honor Flight Syracuse, PO Box 591, Syracuse, NY 13209.
A private celebration of Gerry’s life will take place at a later date.
Arrangements being handled by Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.