Floral 07

Geraldine Margie (Funk) DeMars

March 7, 1931 ~ June 25, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old



Geraldine Margie (Funk) Demars, 92, led a life of quiet adventure, devoted to learning, exploring, and providing service and good cheer to others.

Her greatest frustration came as declining health in recent years forced her to slow down. Still, she traveled extensively well into her 80s, and her family joked that she had tripped and fallen on at least four continents.

Gerry was born in March 1931, in a farmhouse in Lebanon,  PA, a fact that led to speculation around three different birth dates, only one of which was recognized by the government. 

As the first daughter in a large traditional farming family, she spent much of her childhood living in town with her grandparents, pursuing education. She looked back fondly on those years, and carried a memento the rest of her life in the form of tiny stones that became embedded in one knee when she fell trying to race traffic crossing the city street.

Education became a theme, as she applied for college but was denied her first choice, Penn State University, because it was flooded with WWII vets on the GI Bill. Chance took her to Bloomsburg State University, a so-called teachers College, where she made lifelong friends and set a course for a career as a teacher, mainly in the field of business education, in schools including Redford High School in Detroit, and Howell High School, from which she retired.

Prior to becoming a teacher, her adventurous spirit took her to jobs in Texas and New Mexico before she rekindled a relationship with a young soldier she had met at a USO dance. 

She married that soldier, Henry McLaughlan, a Scottish immigrant, on his return from the Korean War. Together they moved to Detroit and had three children, Bruce Lachlan, Hilary Jean (Salter) and Douglas Arthur.

In 1974, the family relocated to a hobby farm in Howell, from which she commuted daily to Detroit until obtaining a teaching position locally.

Henry died after falling from a horse, and Gerry later married Alfred Demars, who also preceded her in death.

Gerry was a stalwart volunteer for the Livingston ARC, and a fixture at all of the group's dances and outings, becoming a second mother to many of the members.

For many years, she drove friends to church at Howell United Methodist, as well as on errands and to lunch gatherings. She was the designated driver in her circle of influence, well before that term caught on.

Along the way, she caught the travel bug. Notable trips included Okinawa and Lithuania with her younger sister Dorothy, as well as Alaska, Egypt, and multiple years volunteering at a youth camp in Puerto Rico. 

Her daughter Hilary was a constant confidant and source of pride, and her unexpected death left a permanent void. Still, Gerry found joy in her grandchildren, Monica, James, Anastacia, Robert, Scott, Daniel, and their spouses, as well as her great grandchildren Elijah, Rory and Louis.

As she transitioned to assisted living, she welcomed visitors and was quick to extend an invitation to lunch, to extend the visit and provide hospitality.

She was mobile right up until her final days, and treasured every bit of independence. 

 Visitation will take place on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 from 10:30am until 12:30pm at Thayer-Rock Funeral Home, 33603 Grand River Avenue, Farmington, Michigan 48335.  Interment will take place on Wednesday July 5, 2023 at 2:30pm at Pioneer Cemetery (AKA Marr Cemetery) in Howell Michigan.  

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July 5, 2023

10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Thayer-Rock Funeral Home
33603 Grand River Avenue
Farmington, MI 48335

July 5, 2023

2:30 PM
Pioneer Cemetery (AKA Marr Cemetery)
West side of Burkhart Road, just north of Marr Road
Howell, MI 48855


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