Anna Geraldine White Irwin, 96 of,
Salem, died in her home on Friday, December 11, 2015. Known as Anna
professionally, she was “Jerry” to her friends, and “Mom” to her
Daughter of Stephen and Geraldine
White, she grew up in Braintree and Dorchester, until marrying C.
Robert Irwin and spending their married life in New York City where
they raised three children. She moved to Salem in 2009.
Jerry graduated from Thayer Academy
in 1938, and from Regis College in 1942. During World War II, she
served as a weather officer and cryptographer in the U.S. Coast
Guard. On returning to civilian life, she attended Harvard
University on the GI Bill and earned a Masters of Education,
teaching lower school while earning her degree. In 1949, she
married the man she met at her junior prom at Thayer Academy twelve
years earlier, eventually settling in Manhattan to raise their
Once her children were in school
full-time, Jerry returned to her professional career as a health
educator for the City of New York where she designed and initiated
the first anti-smoking campaign in the city public school system.
She later served as the Director of the YWCA’s Ballard School
focusing on vocational training for adult women. Jerry then worked
for the City Commission to the United Nations where she developed a
host family program to welcome and acclimate members of the
diplomatic community and their families upon their arrival to the
city. Her last position was as a Director of Personnel and Staff
Activities in the Human Resources Department of the United Nations
Secretariat until her retirement in 1984.
Throughout her professional
endeavors, family always came first. (Her english and gordon
setters were a close second.) She is survived by a daughter, Alison
M. Irwin of Salem, and a son, Robert W. Irwin and his wife Pamela of
Ipswich. Her daughter, Maribeth I. (Lynch) Brittle, predeceased in
2012. Jerry is also survived by two grandchildren, Robert Scott
Lynch, Jr., his wife Erin Quigley and their daughter Fiona of
Virginia and James White Lynch also of Virginia. She is also
survived by her sister, Paula Bostrom, of Holbrook and many nephews
and nieces. Her sisters Mary Shaw and Peggy Mordas predeceased.
Visiting hours will be held at the
Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich, from 10 am to
12 noon on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. There will be a brief prayer
service at 12 noon, followed by interment in the New Highland
Cemetery, Town Farm Road, Ipswich. Family and friends are
respectfully welcomed. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in
her name may be made to the The Open Door Food Pantry, 28 Emerson
Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930.