Geraldine Louise “Gerry” Finn passed away on April 11, 2023 at Saint Anne’s Mead assisted living home in Southfield, Michigan. She was 91.
Gerry was born on October 10, 1931 in Boston Massachusetts to Thomas and Louise Finn. She grew up in the close knit community of West Roxbury, where she made friendships that endured throughout her life.
Gerry received a Bachelor of Arts from Regis College, a Certificate in Occupational Therapy from the Boston School of Occupational Therapy, and a Master’s Degree from Simmons College. Throughout her long career as an occupational therapist, she devoted herself to serving those with long-term, severe mental illness. She served as Director of the Occupational Therapy Department at Cleveland Psychiatric
Institute, a Consultant for Hartford Rehabilitation Center, Director of Occupational Therapy at Boston State Hospital, Director of Rehabilitation at Medfield State Hospital, and as a Lecturer at Boston University and Tufts University.
Gerry also received many professional awards and honors. She presented the American Occupational Therapy Association’s prestigious Eleanor Clark Slagle Lecture in 1971. Her lecture’s focus on community outreach and early intervention programs for children showing the first signs of behavioral problems remains relevant today. In 1973, she became a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association in recognition of her significant contribution to the profession. She also mentored many younger professionals throughout her career. As a mentor, and later as a trusted colleague and friend, Gerry worked closely with Andrea Bilics. The two quickly bonded and Gerry soon became a cherished member of the Bilics family – Andrea, her husband Charlie, and their daughters, Amy (Collin Sayler) and Jessica.
After her retirement, Gerry served as a certified ombudsman for the Massachusetts Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, an advocacy organization for residents and patients living in nursing homes, rest homes, and assisted living residences across Massachusetts, and was a board member of Lost Coin Women’s Fund, Inc., a fund supporting low-income women to pursue college and training.
Another important aspect of Gerry’s life was her Catholic faith. She spent one year as a contemplative novice at The Carmelite Monastery in Concord New Hampshire. While her spiritual devotion never wavered, Gerry was passionate about reform. As an active member of Massachusetts Woman Church, she advocated for the ordination of women priests.
Gerry was a much beloved aunt and great aunt. She was a constant presence in the lives of her nieces and nephews, who considered her a third parent.
Gerry was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas J. Finn, Sr. and Louise M. Finn, and her brother Thomas J. Finn, Jr. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Ellen Brady Finn Kelley, her nieces, Louise Gould, Lucy (Dean) Hully and Catherine (Ross Hammond) Finn, her nephews Tony (Mary Minnet) Finn and William (Cynthia Boschman) Finn, and her great-nieces Angelica Gould, Anne Hully, Emily Finn and Ellen Finn, and her great-nephews Matthew Finn, Max Hully, and Hugo Hammond.
Funeral Services will be held at Saint Susanna Church, 262 Needham St. Dedham, Massachusetts, Friday, May 26th at 9:00 am with a graveside service to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Lost Coin Women’s Fund (www.lostcoinwomensfund.org) or St. Anne’s Meade (www.stannesmead.org)
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