VOORHEESVILLE — Grace May Warner always put her family first. A dedicated mother and wife, she died on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. At 90, she was surrounded at the St. Peter’s Hospice Inn in Albany by those who loved her.
“After my sister was born, she was a stay-at-home wife and mother,” said her son, retired Air Force Master Sergeant Brian Gerard Warner. “She was always there when we got home from school.”
He recalled his mother’s fondness for cooking homemade meals and especially her desserts. “Pies, cakes, cookies, everything was from scratch and homemade. She followed in her mother’s footsteps; our grandmother always had a piece of cake or pie to offer,” he said.
When Mr. Warner was a boy, he remembered going out to a wooded area near their home along State Farm Road to pick wild strawberries. The land has since been developed into the back nine holes of a golf course, he said.
“She was a great cook and me and Mom used to pick the best wild strawberries,” he said.
Mrs. Warner was born in Albany, the daughter of the late Peter and Dorothy Gerard. She graduated from Albany High School, Class of 1940. She married her husband, Frank William Warner, on June 13, 1942.
“Six weeks after they got married, he got drafted, and three-and-a-half years later, he came home,” said their son. Frank Warner served in the Army Air Corps, where he also took photographs for the service and was honorably discharged in 1945. Some of his World War II photographs were later published in a book.
He came home and got a job at General Electric, working as a professional photographer. Mrs. Warner was employed by Montgomery Ward for several years and the couple bought a home in New Scotland in 1947. They would live there, happily married, for the next 70 years.
The couple had their first of two children, a daughter, Deborah Jean Warner, in 1951.
Mrs. Warner was active within the New Scotland Presbyterian Church for 60 years, where she served as treasurer of United Presbyterian Women, a Sunday school teacher, and assisted with church dinners and fund-raisers.
Mrs. Warner also became a Girl Scout leader after her daughter joined the group. Mr. Warner recalled having to go to the Girl Scout meetings as a child.
“The troop in Voorheesville used to meet in the grade school and I had to go to the meetings. I was just a little punk who wasn’t old enough to be left alone, so I had to go,” he said.
Grace May (Gerard) Warner is survived by her husband, Frank William Warner; her son, Brian Gerard Warner, and his wife, Barbara Mary (Perkins) Warner; and by her grandchildren, Anastasia Marie Warner and Stephany Lynn (Warner) McKinley and her husband, Robert McKinley; and by her great-granddaughter, Layla Marie McKinley.
Her parents, Peter and Dorothy Gerard, died before her as did her daughter, Deborah Jean Warner.
A funeral service was held at the New Scotland Presbyterian Church on Feb. 20. Arrangements were by the New Comer-Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie. Mourners may leave online messages at www.NewcomerAlbany.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to the New Scotland Presbyterian Church, 2010 New Scotland Rd., Slingerlands, NY 12159.