BOSTON, MA: Sally Anne Gerry passed away on Sunday October 11, surrounded by loving family at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. She was born in Melrose to Donald Ralph Gerry of Tremont, Pa., and Anne Gardner Kaihlanen of Rockport in 1960.
She grew up in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and was a 1978 graduate of Gloucester High School. A 20-year veteran of US Army Bands, Sally performed for presidents of the United States and Germany, members of the British Royal Family, and several European heads of state.
Her military career included assignments with the Berlin Brigade Band, Berlin, Germany; The US Army Europe Band & Chorus, Heidelberg, Germany; The Army Band of New England, Fort Devens, Massachusetts; the 4th Infantry Division Band, Fort Hood, Texas; the VII Corps Band, Stuttgart, Germany; the 3rd Armored Division Band, Frankfurt, Germany; the V Corps Band, Kaiserslautern and Wiesbaden, Germany; and the 14th Army Band, Fort McClellan, Ala.
Sally settled in central Pennsylvania, after retiring from the US Army in order to participate in local music and work in Supply Chain Collaboration with the Hershey Company, a job in which she took great pride and joy. She was the principal clarinetist for the Keystone Band of Rehrersburg, a member of the Clarions Quartet, the Perseverance Band, the Lebanon Community Concert Band and local 401-750 of the American Federation of Musicians.
She is remembered by friends, colleagues, and bandmates as a talented, giving, and kind individual. She was an avid genealogist, a lover of books, and a zealous Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots fan. Her untimely death of cancer-related illness was preceded by a year of treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, while living with and being cared for by her son Graham and sister Kathryn in Boston and Marlborough.
She leaves behind her parents and her stepfather, Lauri Kaihlanen; her children, Alexandra Crow of Fairfield, Iowa, Graham Gardner of Boston, and Ben Matin of Los Angeles, Calif.; her siblings, Gardner Gerry of Litchfield, N.H., Kathryn Gerry Peel of Marlborough, Chris Gerry of Portland, Maine, and Vanessa Gerry of Buffalo, N.Y.; and her granddaughter, Akasha Crow. She is cherished by her family.
Her life will be celebrated by family and friends on Wednesday October 14, at the AMVETS Hall in Gloucester from 1 to 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in her memory.