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Geraldine "Gerry" Tobin Murray Print E-mail

Gerry MurrayGeraldine "Gerry" Tobin Murray, 82, died on April 7 after a courageous five-year battle with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that also robbed the world of her brother, Kevin Tobin, and sister, Mary Lou Tobin. Geraldine resided in Avon Lake with her loving husband Garrett, both of whom were previous longtime residents of Elyria.

Geraldine was an artist whose creativity infused every aspect of her life. As a young woman, her natural talent won her the starring role in a 1950s family drama that aired on Cleveland television. Later, she regularly acted in Lorain County Community College’s theater productions. In the 1980s and 1990s, Elyria Catholic High School employed her as director of theater where she won students’ affection for her signature combination of tough love and humor; she aimed for Broadway quality, and her students rose to the challenge. For many years, at St. Jude School in Elyria, she coached eighth graders prior to their annual Passion play on Palm Sunday. As a painter, she loved using watercolor to create original works, often capturing memories of summer vacations spent at Topsail Island, N.C. Her artistry extended to intricate dressmaking: Her daughters were accomplished Irish Dancers, and Gerry designed and created each beautiful costume by hand. In the 1950s, after graduating from Lourdes Academy and following two years at Notre Dame College, she had a short-lived, but beloved, career at the Cleveland Press where she was an editorial artist and colorist of the comics; until the end of her life, “the funnies” always made her laugh. Her love of the Cleveland Indians, Chicago (her hometown), and chocolate (preferably dark) was legendary.

But, above all else, Gerry was a loving mother whose dedication knew no bounds. She wanted her daughters to pursue any dream they could imagine, so she taught them to know they are equal to men. Her legacy is a message of empowerment, which has been embraced by four granddaughters and five grandsons. To the very end, Gerry was a fighter, yet pragmatic: “It is what it is” became her signature phrase as the disease took its toll. Her family will always raise a Jameson in her honor.

Gerry is survived by her soulmate, Garrett J. Murray, to whom she was wed for 59 years. She is also survived by sister Patricia (Tobin) Jakubisin, sister-in-law Barbara Tobin, daughters Lynn Murray-Coleman (James) of Pittsburgh; Katie Murray of Lakewood; Anne Murray MacRitchie (Dan) of Exeter, N.H.; and Nora Murray of San Francisco. In addition to her brother and sister, she was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Josephine Tobin and nephew, Paul Tobin.

Friends will be received at the Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home, 327 Cleveland Street, Elyria, Ohio, on Monday, April 17, 2017 from 5-8 PM. A prayer service will be in the funeral home on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. followed by a mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 320 Middle Ave., Elyria with Reverend Father Charles Diedrick, Pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, Elyria, Ohio.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 E. Ohio St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL, 60611; or visit

» 1 Message to family
Ruth Adams
sent Monday, 17 April 2017 11:09
May I offer my deepest sympathy to you, Garrett, and your family? My prayers are with you all.
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