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David Cameron Gerry

The family of David Cameron Gerry wishes to honor what would have been his 103rd birthday by sadly but lovingly sharing his obituary. Born in Topsfield on December 2, 1917 to the late George A. and Helen E. (Andrews) Gerry, David was educated in the Topsfield school system, then graduating from Northeastern University, Class of 1941, where he was an honor student and served as class president and class marshal of the College of Engineering. While at Northeastern he also played on the varsity baseball team for three years, and pitched for the Topsfield town team.

 David spent his entire professional career with the General Electric Company. At the onset of his employment, he was the first to volunteer to go overseas for GE during World War II, serving in North Africa, Italy and the Pacific as a GE technical representative for the U.S. Army Air Corps for two and a half years. Upon his return, he was employed by GE, primarily in Lynn, but also in various locations throughout the country, in its small-aircraft-engine department. Over the years, he was a project manager and district manager of several helicopter and jet-engine programs, primarily in conjunction with the Department of Defense. At the time of his retirement, David was once again contracted out by General Electric for two-plus years, this time to Canberra, Australia, to collaborate with the Royal Australian Air Force in the development of their latest fighter jet engine.

 Dave, as he was known by many, was married to Dorothy J. Whipple on September 29, 1944 in Hamilton. Together they raised their three daughters in Ipswich, enjoying boating down river from their backyard and perfecting their game at the local family-owned golf course. He and Dot often entertained Ipswich family friends at their second home on Ossipee Lake, New Hampshire, where Dave enjoyed skimming across the water on his Sailfish. An outdoorsman, he also spent many happy hours hiking the White Mountains and trails with Jim Smyth and skiing at various northern area slopes with Don Skeffington and Don Whiston, among numerous other friends and family members. David extended his skiing ventures to Jackson Hole with his childhood Topsfield friend, Quincy MacGregor, and Tignes, France, with the group from Ipswich, all avid skiers like himself. Ever a sports enthusiast, Dave closely followed the local area high-school sports teams, a few coached by family relatives for many years, as well as the New England collegiate and professional teams, notably the Patriots and Red Sox, but most ardently as a lifelong Bruins fan, Bobby Orr being his favorite player.

 Dorothy passed away in 1994, just shy of their fifty-year wedding anniversary. For the past twenty-four years, David and his companion, the late Jean Powers, who passed away in February of 2020, enjoyed their lives together, especially a shared love of skiing, in which they participated well into her eighties and his nineties, with the many friends they made at Bretton Woods. Always active, he could be seen snow-blowing the driveway and tending the lawn on his ride-on mower also until his late nineties! An avid reader, David started the day with the daily newspaper, reading it from front to back, and he always had several books on the table beside his favorite recliner. As well as his love of dogs and keen interest in cars and cameras, David had a passion for travel. Establishing and maintaining friendships worldwide and capturing fabulous scenery globally were always his great joys; touring the far corners of the earth, especially locating relatives in England and Northern Ireland and hosting their visits here was a highlight for him.

 David is survived by his daughters Janet Eldridge, Nancy May and Candace Sklarz and her husband, Joseph, as well as grandchildren Tracy (Eldridge) Maidment and her husband, Bill; Nathan Sklarz, Zachary Sklarz and his wife, Pakinee; Jessica May and her husband, Nima; Caitlin (Sklarz) Anderson and her husband, Greg; and Rebecca May. Survivors also include his great-grandchildren Katie, Emerson, Molly, Keegan, Alec, Kenzie and Kieran, as well as his nephew, G. Gerry O’Brien, and niece Anne (O’Brien) Ahern, her husband, Tom, and their children. He also leaves his Andrews cousins. David was predeceased by his sister, Katherine (Gerry) O’Brien and nephew Glenn F. O’Brien, Jr.

 Though as a result of natural causes, David’s passing ironically occurred during a pandemic as did his father’s own death, from the Spanish flu, at age twenty-nine one hundred years earlier, leaving David and his sister to be brought up by their mother and grandmother. A man of humble beginnings, he never forgot his roots. David made the most of the difficult times; he had a tremendous work ethic and achieved much. He could be tough on occasion but always fair, a man of his word. Many will agree that he was also known to be quite a talker, regaling anyone who would listen with his penchant for sharing stories and experiences, which we now hold dear! He lived a long, honest life, one full of proud accomplishments. Loyal and well-respected by many, the world is a better place for having had him a part of it.

 

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