Born in New York City on July 30, 1936, Elaine graduated from East Tennessee State University and earned a Master’s Degree from Columbia University. Elaine had a long and distinguished career as a teacher, beginning at Northside School and St. Mary’s Catholic School before spending 25+ years as a much loved and respected first grade teacher at ETSU’s University School. While at University School she trained many aspiring student teachers, and, in many cases, taught three generations of first graders. She received the EXCEL recognition from ETSU and was named Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
Elaine participated in many volunteer organizations, including The Elizabethton Women’s Club, Phi Mu Sorority, St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Womens Auxillary and Tennessee Teachers Association. Elaine was a supporter of the One Acre Café in Johnson City and the Barter Theatre in Abington.
Elaine was a talented artist and excelled in pastel drawings. She loved to travel and travel she did. She took a trip around the world with her parents in 1971, lived for a summer in Paris where she attended lectures at the Sorbonne. Elaine traveled with Edwin and Jennie to Italy and Sicily, and from there to the Italian city of Polistena, where her parents were born. From Polistena they went to the town of Gerace, Italy, where the mayor told them they were the first Gerace family to visit his city of Gerace. Among other destinations, Elaine travelled to many countries in Eastern Europe, including Russia, to South Africa for a cousin’s wedding, to Rio de Janeiro to visit family and made a special trip to Alaska with her sister Kathy. She loved her summers and spent most of them in Rockaway Beach, New York with her 14 first cousins, who were all very special to her.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Lena Gerace. She is survived by her brother Edwin F. Gerace and his wife Jennie of Johnson City and sister Kathleen Gerace Charla of San Diego, CA, one niece Larisa Breton of Birmingham, MI and three nephews Edwin (Allyson) Gerace, Jr of Lexington, SC, Christopher (Carly) Charla of Seattle, WA and Benjamin (Megan) Gerace of Birmingham, AL, and seven grand-nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the charity of your choice, or to Hospice, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, One Acre Café or Barter Theatre.
A private entombment service will be conducted at Happy Valley Memorial Park with Father Collins officiating.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com . Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples St., Johnson City, TN 37601 is honored to serve the Gerace family.