West Rupert-Burt R. Geraghty, 94, loving husband, our Dad and Pop Pop peacefully passed away at his beloved Vermont residence on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 to eternally rest in the love of God. Beatrice M. Geraghty, his wife of 67 years and adoring family were by his side. Burt was born with his identical twin brother George on October 9, 1925 in Rockville Center, Long Island, New York, the son of George F. Sr. and Gladys (Hunter) Geraghty. Carolyn, his baby sister was 10 years younger. In 1943 at the tender age of 17, Burt enlisted in the United States Navy. He was stationed on the USS Monongahela which was assigned to the Pacific fleet during the Second World War. The youngest sailor on the ship, “The Kid” as he was called and his fellow brothers in arms were part of a long seaborne pipeline continuously operating to provide fuel oil, gasoline, ammunition and various dry cargo for the invasion of the Marshall Islands, every major central Pacific operation, The battle of the Philippine Sea, Leyte, the liberation of the Philippines, Okinawa and Iwo Jima. The Monongahela was one of a group of oilers that made the extremely dangerous journey through the Surigao Straight into the East China Sea to refuel Admiral Halsey’s 3rd Fleet during its raids on the Indochinese and China coasts. On April 16, 1945 the Monongahela narrowly escaped damage from suicide air attacks. Burt would serve his country again throughout most of the Korean campaign. In 1950, Burt was working in New York City and met Beatrice Bolton on the commuter train traveling to Manhattan. In 1952 they were united in holy matrimony, their union blessed with five children Michael E. (Judy), Stephen R. (Janet), Thomas G. (Kathleen), Susan P. and James A. Geraghty.
A devoted father, Burt worked tirelessly for his family. An extremely gentle, reserved, deeply private man, a father less inclined to show love and affection verbally than through constant action, assistance and support. He loved his family immensely in his very own unique manner. And we loved him. Over the many wonderful years together, (when he wasn’t working) our time was spent mostly on suburban Long Island and bucolic Rupert, Vermont. Frequent laughter, amazing Christmas seasons, great music, and lots of car trips all over the east coast. A childhood protected from most of the truly awful circumstances that life can sometimes throw at you.
Burt’s primary career was as an emergency medical technician and police officer in the Nassau County, New York police department. Retiring relatively young, in 1978 he and mother became entrepreneurs and went into the wine and liquor business establishing Geraghty’s Wines & Liquors in Greenwich, New York. The business has become quite successful and has grown tremendously under the management and now ownership of our brother Steve.
Burt’s retirement years were spent happily and contently summering in Vermont and wintering in Florida, enjoying life with his fourteen grandchildren and twenty two great grandchildren, his enduring legacy: Michael (Jill), Kevin (Paislee), Erin (Brett), Stephen, Daniel (Jasmine), Sarah, Kristin, Amanda, Patrick (Daniel), Meghan, Brian (Samantha), Nicholas (Brittany), Sean (Emily), Tim; Preston, Nolan, Isabelle, Aleena, Kaley, Mason, Riley, Weslee, Hailee, Olivia, Halle, Evelyn, Jackson, Sawyer, Alexandra, Cassidy, Rhettson, Elliott, Gage, Leona, Lyle, and Lilly.
Burt enjoyed visiting his countless friends, swimming, golfing, and a competitive bocchi tournament. He was a car enthusiast, avid movie buff, collected stamps and coins, a reader of history. He was happy and content to spend hours outside working on his beautiful properties in Vermont and charming little house in Florida. As quiet as he could be, he was occasionally known to be the life of the party. A cigarette in one hand, scotch in the other, dressed to the nines for a family party or on a holiday. He treated his in- laws with tremendous respect and compassion in their frail last days. A genuine friend to everyone, his beautiful blue eyes and remarkable smile were endearing. Observing Burt helping an ailing friend, painting or sheet rocking someone’s house was never a rare sight. Late in his life’s journey, Burt met one of his best friends Ivan Sheperd from Toronto, Canada. In his last week’s struggling to find a smile or much sparkle is his eyes he would transform when shown a photograph of Ivan and him together-boosting and lightening his spirit. His large family and genuine friends are so grateful to have had him for ourselves for so long. We will miss him terribly, but will cherish our memories and look forward to seeing him again.
There are no calling hours.
A funeral mass will be Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 11 am at Holy Cross Church, 249 North Main St., Salem with Rev. Thomas Zelker officiating.
Interment with military honors will be at 1 pm at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, NY.
Memorial contributions may be made to the VNA & Hospice, 7 Albert Cree Drive, Rutland, VT 05701.
The Geraghty family would like to thank the many people far and wide who have expressed kind words and beautiful thoughts, and a special thank you to the care providers of the VNA/Hospice and Bennington Hospital. A sincere thank you to Jay "Skipper" Wilson and the Rupert Highway Department.
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