Ruth Geier Roemer

Ruth Geier Roemer

Ruth Geier Roemer

EAST BERNE — Ruth Geier Roemer lived out a “classic love story” during her 75-year marriage to James W. Roemer Sr. She died “from a broken heart,” her family wrote, on Jan. 27, 2019, ten days after her husband’s death. She was 94.

“It was time for them to reunite and continue their very special love story,” her family wrote.

Mrs. Roemer was born on March 7, 1924, in Albany, to Edward Geier and Margaret Mosley Geier. Her mother died giving birth to her, and so she spent part of her life under the care only of her father before he married Irene Geier, said Mrs. Roemer’s son, James Roemer Jr. Two aunts also cared for her as she grew up, said her son, Guy Roemer.

Mrs. Roemer graduated from the Albany Academy for Girls and for a short period worked for the New York Telephone Company.

Although she grew up in Albany, Mrs. Roemer spent her summers on Warner’s Lake in a lake house that has been in her family for almost 100 years now, said her daughter, Jill. It was at Warner’s Lake that she met James Roemer, who used to travel from Albany to a dance hall in the area. The two were married on Aug. 22, 1943, the marriage ending only with Mr. Roemer’s death three-quarters of a century later.

“I guess I would describe it as a classic love story,” said their son, who noted one of the first hurdles of their marriage was Mr. Roemer’s deployment overseas during World War II. He returned briefly while on leave in December 1943, and Mrs. Roemer became pregnant and gave birth to their firstborn son in September 1944. Mr. Roemer wouldn’t return home until October 1945.

During her pregnancy and the birth and first year of raising their son, Mrs. Roemer, at age 20, was on her own.

“She wasn’t sure if Dad was even going to come home alive,” said James Roemer. He described his parents as an example of “the greatest generation,” for their grit.

The couple would eventually have two more children, Guy and Jill.

After the war, once they were back together, said their son James, the two were inseparable.

“They were not just a couple who existed together,” he said. “They literally adored one another.”

Mrs. Roemer was very caring to her children. Her son Guy recalled how, when he went away to college, she would sent him once a week a note and a five-dollar bill. Once a month, she would also send his clothes, washed and folded, back to him in a tin after he sent her his dirty clothes. Occasionally she also slipped in a pack of homemade chocolate-chip cookies, an example of her exemplary baking, said her son Guy.

“She made the best apple pie around,” he said.

The Roemers brought their children to the lake house where Mrs. Roemer had spent her summers as a youth. Eventually, in the 1970s, the house was winterized, said their daughter, and the couple moved to East Berne permanently.

They both loved their life on the lake where, in late summer, Mrs. Roemer would point out to her family the “diamonds on the lake” — the choppy water shining like jewels against the setting sun, said their son James.

While living in Berne, Mrs. Roemer volunteered as a driver for the American Red Cross and later, with her husband, for Meals on Wheels.

“Mom and Dad did it as a team,” said their son, explaining how Mr. Roemer drove and Mrs. Roemer delivered the meals.

The two also traveled together after Mr. Roemer retired, including to Cape Cod, Massachusetts; to Maui, Hawaii; and to various national parks with friends.

Mrs. Roemer enjoyed playing bridge with her women’s bridge club, made up of lifelong friends from Albany Academy, as well as playing pinochle with her family as recently as this past December, said her son Guy.

Her son James recalled what she said to him during one of their games: “The most generous thing you’ve given us is time,” she said to him.

She also enjoyed hosting traditional mid-afternoon Sunday dinners with her entire extended family. “She found a lot of joy being with her family,” said her daughter, who noted that Mrs. Roemer lived to see even her great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Roemer died at the lake house where she had grown up and later shared with her husband.

“She started life with my dad, Jim, on Warner’s Lake — it’s where she met him — and their life ended right back here on Warner’s Lake,” said her daughter. “Came full circle.”


Ruth Geier Roemer is survived by her children, James W. Roemer Jr. and his wife, Elaine; Guy Roemer and his wife, Michele; and Jill Roemer; her eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.  Her sister, Marjorie McCormack Hartman, died before her.

In a tribute, her family expressed gratitude toward Mrs. Roemer’s “guardian angels and caretakers, Caren, Taylor and Rosemary.”

A celebrations of both Mr. and Mrs. Roemer’s lives will be held on Saturday, May 18, at the Applebee Funeral Home, at 403 Kenwood Ave. in Delmar. Family and friends may visit the family from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on May 18, with a memorial service and celebration of their lives at 11 a.m.; a full military honor guard service will immediately follow at Memory Gardens at 983 Watervliet-Shaker Rd. in Colonie.  This replaces the previously announced service on April 6 for Mr. Roemer.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church of Berne, 1664 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.

— H. Rose Schneider

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