Geraldine (Gerry) Heller Raines, 76, of Cocoa Beach passed away peacefully on February 5, 2020.
Gerry was born February 16, 1943 in McRae, GA (southeast of Macon). Gerry is preceded in death by her mother Madeline Heller Bowen, father Robert F. Heller of Chicago, Illinois who was killed during WWII, and stepfather Duncan N. Bowen. During her childhood, the family lived in North Augusta, SC, St Simon’s Island, GA, and Darien, GA before moving to Cocoa Beach. Gerry graduated from Cocoa High and subsequently got her AA degree from Brevard Junior College. Her working career included a stint at the Kennedy Space Center. After leaving the Space Center, she spent time at the First National Bank of Merritt Island, before moving to the American Bank and the First Merritt Mortgage Corporation where she became Vice President. Gerry was the campaign treasurer for several local Brevard County races. She stepped aside from the business world for a spell to raise her two children, Dana and Justin who were the love of her life. She became a Red Cross certified Swimming Instructor and taught many local children how to swim during the summers. She went back to college and finished getting her bachelor’s degree from Rollins College. Gerry even was a Tupperware saleswoman and made custom watches for a while. As her children became older, she worked part-time for the “Big Boat” (Premier Cruise Lines) before she started teaching emotional handicapped students in the Brevard County School system. She loved teaching and would go above and beyond for her students. She would even take them to restaurants to learn proper etiquette among numerous other extra activities. After retiring, Gerry became a consultant for SRA McGraw-Hill helping teachers implement and use their reading programs. After a couple of years, she retired for good.
Gerry was active in Merritt Island Presbyterian Church where she became an Elder and led the MIPC Child Care Center during her time as an active Elder.
Gerry was very outgoing, fun loving and caring, especially for kids. If Gerry was your friend, you had a friend for life. Gerry was involved with various social groups that she really enjoyed such as Golf and Gourmet, the Sweet Potato Queens, a Canasta group and the “Bad Ass Poker Girls” among others.
Gerry is survived by her husband William (Bill) Raines, daughter Dana Raines Webb (Dana, and yes that’s correct), son Justin Phillip Raines, and brother Duncan N Bowen Jr.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Merritt Island Presbyterian Church.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Viera Hospital Intensive Care Unit for their wonderful care and support during Gerry’s last days.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Health First Foundation.
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