Ruth Hennigan Gerrity

Ruth Hennigan Gerrity, 66, Moosic Lakes, Jefferson Twp., died Wednesday morning in the Hospice of the Sacred Heart Inpatient Unit after an illness.   She was the widow of Patrick F. Gerrity, who died April 27, 2014.

Born December 15, 1949 in Scranton, she was the daughter of the late Francis R. “Bud” and Alice McNulty Hennigan.  Ruth was a 1967 graduate of Marywood Seminary.   Upon completion of high school, Ruth was named a Rotary Exchange Student and spent a year studying in Sweden. She remained close with her “Swedish Family” for the rest of her life.   Ruth earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Science and Disorders from Marywood University, as well as a Master of Science in Degree in the same discipline from the University of Miami.    She went on to have a long, distinguished, and meaningful career in deaf education.  She began her career at Gulfstream Elementary School in Miami, Florida. She returned to Pennsylvania as the Speech/Language Pathologist and Outreach Specialist at the Scranton State School for the Deaf. until retirement.  She also spent over 25 years serving as the president of their labor union and was a tireless advocate for her colleagues.  Her time at SSSD was some of her happiest and most fulfilling.  She truly loved and cared for every child.   Ruth was an adjunct professor in Deaf Studies at Marywood University.  She was a member of St. Paul’s Parish, Scranton.

A woman of many talents, Ruth always gave of herself freely.   She thought of nothing but the happiness and welfare of others, to the very end.  She  volunteered for many community and professional organizations, among them SCOLA and the United Neighborhood Centers, where she held leadership positions. She was also very active within the Moosic Lakes Community, serving as Secretary of the Women’s Club,  on the Board of Directors of the Moosic Lakes Association, and the Lake Rosary Group.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to Drs. Christian Adonizio, Michel LaCroix, and Edward Dzielak, the Team at Geisinger Oncology, and the entire staff of the Hospice of the Sacred Heart Inpatient Unit for their compassionate, dedicated, and outstanding care of Ruth during her illness.   Also a very special thank you to her  family, friends, and neighbors, who gave so selflessly of themselves to help care for Ruth.

Surviving are sons, Patrick Gerrity and wife, Jennifer, Brendan Gerrity and wife, Sarah, all of Scranton, and Petty Officer First Class Michael Gerrity, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; sisters, Mary Alice Acquaviva and husband, Anthony, of Elmhurst Twp., Patricia Rosetti and husband, Lawrence, of Scranton;  brother, Frank Hennigan of Dunmore; her beloved grandchildren, Michael Welsh, Aiden, Cole, and Emma Gerrity; an aunt, Nan McNulty of Dunmore; nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews; cousins; countless friends, colleagues, and students.


She was also preceded in death by her brother, Thomas “Tucker” Hennigan and her nephew, Joseph Tucker.

All attending the Mass are invited to go directly to the church.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church 1510 Penn Ave., Scranton by Msgr. Joseph Quinn.

Friends may call Sunday from 2-5 p.m. in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St., Scranton.

Interment, Dunmore Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family encourages memorial contributions be made to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart, 600 Baltimore Dr., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702, or to the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania, 425 Alder St., Scranton PA 18505.

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  1. Donna Brenish Whitaker

    For Ruth’s children, grandchildren and siblings, her death came way too soon. Yet St. Francis De Sales said “Let God gather to Himself what He has planted in His Garden — He takes nothing out of season”. This continues to be a time of great loss and pain for the Hennigan and Gerrity families. The many people who love you would help carry your pain. May Ruth rest in peace with those she loved who have gone before her.

    Marywood Seminary Classmate 1967

  2. woody wilson

    to gerrity family,

    am very sorry to hear about your mom ruth gerrity she was one of a wonderful kind soul lady that i have her as a speech teacher at sssd and she was very wonderful lady to me and i will miss her very much if you ver need anything please let me know

    sincerely yours woody wilson

  3. Molly Quinn Philbin

    Ruthie’s kindness, intelligence, easy smile, quick wit and very pretty face brightened the days of everyone she knew. I am sure these characteristics served her and her students well in the classroom, and her fellow teachers when she represented them as President of their Labor Union. I have no doubt but that her and Pat’s children and grandchildren were equally served, and more importantly deeply loved by Ruthie. My heart goes out to all of you and to Mary Alice, the flip side of the same coin, and all of Ruthie’s family and close friends. I am raising a toast to Ruthie and hers. May the blessing of each day be the blessings you need most.

  4. Melody Newhard-Kirk

    To the Gerrity family,
    I am sorry for your loss. Ruth was a wonderful women,who encouraged my daughter when she attended SSSD. She always stretched the students out of there comfort zone and encouraged them to go further. She was a wonderful women and friend I will truly miss. Her kindness and compassion. My prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  5. Lynn and Ron Stiles

    Dear Mary Alice and Anthony and family, we are so very sorry about Ruth. Our sympathy to you and all the family.

  6. Joanne Boylan Doherty

    Marywood Seminary brought us all together way back when… So many fond memories of those times spent with Ruth and Mary Alice at the Hennigan Home in Dunmore come rushing back. Very special people. My sincere condolences to Mary Alice and Anthony, The Hennigans and The Gerrity Families at this very sad time.

  7. Amy Jenceleski

    Ruth your spirit will live on in all the lives that you’ve touched. I am so blessed to have met you! see you again!

  8. Debbie Ziegler

    Dear Brendan and Sarah,
    I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like she was an incredible woman.
    May she rest in peace.
    Debbie Ziegler

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