Obituary: Doris H. Gere, Retired Staff Assistant at Donahue Institute for Governmental Services

October 24, 2013

Doris Hill Gere, 89, of Leverett, a retired staff assistant at the Donahue Institute for Governmental Services, died Oct. 16, at the Buckley Healthcare Center in Greenfield after a short illness.

Born in Little Genesee, N.Y., she graduated from Bolivar Central High School and attended Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., where she earned a bachelor’s degree and a master's degree in education. She was the first female president of the student senate in the school’s history.

She met her future husband, Edwin Gere, at Alfred and taught accounting and management at the school while he served as a pilot during World War II. They spent the post-war years in Germany where Edwin was flying in the Berlin Airlift.

Coming back to the States, Doris and her husband moved about the country as his Air Force postings changed.

The family moved to a farm in Leverett in 1957 when Edwin joined the university’s Bureau of Government Research.

When her children were grown, she returned to work in 1984 as the program administrator for the Donahue Institute for Governmental Services, where she was responsible for administering all of the its local government programs for the state, including training, research, technical assistance and publications. She was elected to the board of directors of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration and traveled internationally to locations such as Tunisia, Morocco, Malaysia and Austria making presentations for the organization.

After her retirement in 1989, the Geres traveled extensively and spent their summers at the family cottage in the Finger Lakes in New York.

She leaves her husband of 68 years, Edwin A. Gere, Jr. professor emeritus of political science, as well as her five children, Jeffrey and wife Barbara of Frederick, Md., Jonathan and wife Rise Thornton of Montague, David and wife Claudia of Shutesbury, Barbara and husband Rick Olson of Dansville, N.Y., and Richard and wife Dayna Thacker of Atlanta. She also leaves her four grandsons and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 3 p.m. at the Leverett Congregational Church, 4 Montague Road, Leverett, with a reception to follow at the Town Hall, across the road.

In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made to the Leverett Congregational Church, P.O. Box 324, Leverett 01054.