Obituaries – 05/03/09
Educator, part of the fabric and soul of Winthrop
Winthrop lost a part of its fabric and soul with the passing of lifelong resident Geraldine Malolepszy on May 24.
Born Geraldine Phyllis D’Angelo in 1932 at the Winthrop Community Hospital, “Gerry,” as she was known to all, spent her entire life on Read Street in the house her father built in 1928. To this day, only the D’Angelo and Malolepszy families have called it home.
A first generation American, she saw her father, Tony, work long hours in both the meat and liquor businesses. She learned early on from her mother, Emma, that the key to success was through education and she took that advice to heart.
Mrs. Malolepszy graduated from Fitton High School in East Boston, earned a bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College and a master’s degree in education from Boston State College. She started her teaching career in 1954 at the Carter School in Chelsea, where she stayed until 1963 when she took a hiatus to raise her family.
In 1975, she resumed her teaching career at St. John the Evangelist School in Winthrop. Eight years later, she joined the faculty at St. Dominic Savio High School. From 1983 through its restructuring and eventual closing in 2007, she taught English, religion, history and life lessons.
Affectionately know to the student body as “Mrs. Mal,” she frequently wrote on her chalkboard her favorite phrase, “Dare to be different”. She imparted that wisdom along with the value of education to her children.
Her daughter, Maria McCormack, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and an MBA from Boston University. Today, she is a managing director at Middleton & Company in Boston. Her son, John Malolepszy, earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School. He currently practices internal medicine in Danvers.
While teaching was her passion, her family was her life. A devoted mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, it took her 75th birthday and a trip to Bermuda with her family to pry her away from her summer home in Duxbury. Whether it was on Read Street in Winthrop or on the beach in Duxbury, she made lifelong memories with her brothers, John and Anthony and their families, and Maria and John and her five grandchildren.
As a devout Catholic, she was baptized, married and buried from St. John the Evangelist Church. Her kindness and generosity touched many students, family members and friends over the course of her 77 years. She will be missed by all who knew her.
East Boston resident
Judith A. (Sullivan) Berninger of East Boston died on May 28.
She was the beloved wife of the late Richard Berninger; devoted mother of Michael, Thomas and his wife, Mary, and Patricia Berninger and her fiancé, Paul Garrity, all of East Boston; dear sister of John Sullivan of East Boston and Walter Sullivan of Melrose; cherished grandmother of Christopher, Jessica Tuttle and her husband, Ryan, Alyson, Megan, Marc and T.J.; and adored great- grandmother of Mackenzie. She is also survived by her many loving nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were by the Ruggiero- Mazzarella Memorial Home, East Boston. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery.
Memorial donations honoring Mrs. Berninger’s life may be made to the Don Orione Home, 111 Orient Ave., East Boston, MA 02128. For more information or to send an online condolence, visit www.ruggieromh.com.
Of Peabody, formerly of Winthrop
Janet D. Gelles of Peabody, formerly of Winthrop, died on May 30.
She was the beloved daughter of the late Gustave D. and Grace C. Gelles; loving sister of Stanley H. and Rhoda Gelles of Columbus, Ohio; devoted aunt of Jeff, Lisa and Ellen; and great-auntof many.
Graveside services were held at Mishkan Tefila Memorial Park, West Roxbury. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to a charity of one’s choice. Arrangements were by Levine Chapels of Brookline.