Geraldine Rae Clarey Deutsch
Geraldine Rae Clarey Deutsch was born August 16, 1922. All of her grandparents were North Dakota pioneers. Her parents, Raymond Clarey and Anastacia (McCoy) Clarey farmed near Grandin, ND. She was part of a large extended Irish family, many of whom farmed in the area.
Gerry attended Sacred Heart Academy in Fargo for her schooling, beginning as a boarding student at the age of 7. Gerry?s father died when she was ten, and she moved to Fargo with her mother and sister, Mary. A graduate of Sacred Heart High School (later Shanley), Gerry was a member of the first cheerleading squad. Always interested in science and education, Gerry moved to Peoria, Illinois after graduation, where she attended Clark College on a scholarship, and graduated as a medical technologist from St. Francis Hospital.
During World War II, Gerry enlisted in the Navy, training at Hunter College in Manhattan, New York, and serving at Sampson Naval Hospital in Syracuse, New York, on the Finger Lakes. She was also chosen as one of the models for wartime Navy WAVES recruiting posters, now in the Smithsonian.
After returning to Fargo in 1946, Gerry worked as a medical technologist at St. John?s Hospital, the Fargo Clinic, now Meritcare, and the Fargo Health Department. In 1948, she received a Bachelor?s degree from North Dakota Agricultural College, now NDSU.
Although both filed their military discharge papers in Cass County on the same day, Gerry didn?t meet Joseph Charles Deutsch until later, but the two were engaged six weeks after they met. They were married at St. Mary?s Cathedral in Fargo on May 8, 1948.
After living in Fargo, the Deutsch family moved to Casselton, ND, in 1960. Gerry continued to work during the summers at NDSU Health Services and the Fargo Health Department. She went back to NDSU to get education credits to complete a teaching degree, and got straight As in her post graduate work.
Gerry taught at Dakota High School in Arthur, ND, from 1966 to 1974. She loved teaching, her students, and the communities of Hunter and Arthur. Over the years, Gerry taught primarily science courses, including biology and chemistry. Gerry was particularly passionate about space travel as it began. Additional post graduate studies at Moorhead State University involved space studies, and she was selected for a program at NASA in Houston where she got to experience weightlessness and other astronaut activities. She brought her enthusiasm to her classes, at one point bringing an astronaut to speak and share ?space food? with her students, and another time getting a farmers? organization plane to take a student group up to study clouds.
Gerry was active in Casselton community affairs. She served two terms on the Central Cass School Board. Gerry was President of the American Legion Auxiliary, and involved in various Legion activities, including Girls State and Casselton?s famed Memorial Day celebration. She participated in a full range of St. Leo?s Church events and projects. Gerry also helped at the summer Migrant School.
A fan of all sports, especially American Legion baseball, she rarely missed a high school game of any kind. She was an excellent skier and skater. She and Joe were outstanding dancers, members of a dance club, and frequent participants at Elks, Eagles and Legion Club dances in Fargo. Gerry was also an exceptional cook and baker, and loved to hostess parties and celebratory gatherings.
Gerry was devoted to her husband of nearly 52 years, Joe, and they were nearly inseparable until he died in 2000. With Joe, Gerry raised and educated four children.
Gerry?s oldest son, David, is an Obstetrician, Gynecologist and Master of Public Health in Chicago. David?s wife, Mary Hwee, manages a pediatric practice. They have three children: Derek, Joseph Charles (Charlie), and Raymond.
Gerry?s daughter, Mary Joe, is an attorney and Executive Director of Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota. Her husband, Mark Schneider, has a private law firm in Fargo. They have two children: McLain (Mac) and Liberty (Libby).
Gerry?s son, Gregory, is a Senior Attorney with U.S. Customs & Border Protection in Washington, D.C. His wife, Beatriz (Betty), is an Army Action Officer with the Department of Defense. Together they have two sons and a daughter: Bradley, Jeffrey, and Vanessa.
Gerry’s son, Jonathan, is the senior vocalist and National Anthem soloist of the U.S. Armed Forces, performing with The U.S. Army Chorus, Washington, D.C. His wife, Gale (Heinle), is a Senior Management Analyst in the Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Headquarters, Department of Justice. They have a daughter, Julia.
Besides serving as inspiration and motivator for her own family and her students, Gerry provided foster care to 14 children.
Gerry died August 26, 2008, at Bethany Homes in Fargo. Visitation is Friday, August 29, 5-7 p.m., followed by a prayer service at Boulger Funeral Home. The funeral is at St. Anthony?s of Padua Catholic Church, 710 S. 10th St. Fargo, on Saturday, August 31 at 11a.m. with internment at Holy Cross Cemetery North.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. Online guest book at boulgerfuneralhome.com.