Geraldine M. 'Jeri' Erspamer


IRONWOOD, Mich. — Geraldine M. “Jeri” Erspamer, 87, of Hurley, Wis., died peacefully Thursday, March 21, 2013, at Westgate Nursing, Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Community in Ironwood, with her loving husband by her side.

The former Geraldine Bertolini was born Oct. 28, 1925, in Montreal, Wis., daughter of the late Serafino and Rose (Oddino) Bertolini Summers, attended Roosevelt School in Montreal, and graduated from Lincoln High School in Hurley in 1943. She then attended St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Rochester, Minn., and received her degree as a registered nurse in 1946. She worked at St. Mary’s in Rochester, did private duty nursing at Grand View Hospital in Ironwood, and was employed at Josephson Nursing Home in Ironwood for 16 years, retiring in 1985.

Jeri was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Hurley and the Auxiliary to Hurley American Legion Post 58. She enjoyed knitting and collecting dolls and Hummel figurines.

She was married to Donald J. Erspamer on June 21, 1947, at St. Mary’s Church in Hurley by the late Fr. Levandowski. Don and Jeri celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last June. He survives.

Also surviving are three daughters, Susan Griese, Burleson, Texas, Donna (Chep) Rao, Germantown, Wis., and Debbie (Dan) Goeckner, Mequon, Wis .; 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Serafino (Helen) Bertolini, Lincoln, Neb., and Frank Bertolini (Betty), Florida; a brother-in-law, James Erspamer, Oregon; sister-in-law, Jean Erspamer, Minnesota; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Besides her parents, Jeri was preceded in death by a daughter, Teresa Ann, at birth in January 1956; great-grandson, Timothy Plaistow in 2008; her stepfather, Jim Summers; two sisters, Rose Erspamer and Mary Anne Hesse; brothers-in-law, Jack Erspamer, Don Sejbl, Bernard Hesse, E. Gordon Erspamer and Thomas Erspamer; sisters-in-law, Kitty Bertolini, Mary Jo Bertolini and Peg Erspamer; and nephew, Peter Erspamer.

Out of respect for her wishes, cremation has taken place.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, April 3, at 11 a.m., preceded by visitation at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Church in Hurley, with the Rev. Frank Kordek OFM, celebrant.

Luncheon will follow at the Liberty Bell Chalet in downtown Hurley.

Rite of Committal and interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hurley, later this spring.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society, Upper Peninsula Area, 1400 S. Carpenter, Iron Mountain MI 49801.

Arrangements have been entrusted to McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ironwood, where condolences may be given online at

The family would like to thank the staff at Westgate for their compassionate care and the residents for their help and companionship.


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