Geraldine Louise Ossman

11 December, 194528 September, 2021
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Geraldine Louise Ossman, age 75, passed away on September 28, 2021 at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. She was born on December 11, 1945 in Detroit to the late Roy Merrill and Louise Geraldine Ossman. Geri was a resident of East Lansing for 50 years.

Geri completed her higher education at Michigan State University. There she received a bachelors in social science, a masters in adult and continuing education and obtained a teacher certification in elementary education K-8. Her concentrations were in social studies and language arts.

Teaching was Geri’s passion. Her love for education, children and her Catholic faith left a lasting imprint on anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. Geri taught at Lansing Community College and in the Haslett Public School system but spent the majority of her teaching career in private schools. She was a teacher at St. Mary’s in Williamston, St. Martha’s in Okemos and finished her career at St. Thomas Aquinas (STA) in East Lansing. Geri was an employee of STA for 18 years. There she worked at the Catholic Formation Office from 2001-2006 and then as a teacher (2nd grade and preschool) from 2006-2020.

Students remember Geri for her zest for life and learning. She put love into everything she brought into the classroom. She sang with her students by the piano and watched monarchs hatch from their catalysts. She loved feeding the birds so students could get an up close view of these special creatures. Her favorite field trip was taking the children to the Detroit Institute of Art to learn about Diego Rivera. She saw everything in the world as her inspiration to educate children.

Teaching children about Jesus was extremely important to Geri. She wanted children to understand how much God loved them and wanted them to see the beauty he created for us in this world. While teaching at STA, Geri completed a Montessori based religious education course for children 3 to 9 years old. The program is entitled “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.” She integrated this in her daily teaching methods as it allowed children to know Jesus in an intimate and engaging way.

Geri was a gifted writer. She wrote a book entitled “The Slip of the Moon”. This book was inspired by the loss of her mother who passed away from Alzheimer's disease. The title of the book, “The Slip of the Moon”, was meant to be a visual representation that illustrated her personal experience of watching a person that is whole slowly slip away. She reminded those around her that like a moon, none of us are whole all of the time. She felt it was important that we were slow to judge, quick to forgive and to be filled with understanding for what others may be going through.

Geri’s hobbies included singing in the church choir, playing the piano, book clubs, cooking, preaching, gardening, pets, traveling to northern michigan and attending Michigan State sporting events. While at her house you would often find Geri in the garden, whether it was planting new flowers or hosting an outdoor party. In the summer she traveled with her family to her favorite place Frankfort, Michigan. Frankfort was a gift she gave to her family as a beautiful place to create memories that would last a lifetime.

Despite her many talents, Geri’s greatest love was her three children. She was involved in every aspect of their lives from their schooling, work, daily life and leisure. There is no place she would rather be than with her children. She taught them to be loving, passionate, understanding, grateful and determined as she modeled these behaviors everyday of her own life.

She was a loving mother to Nicole Anne Cuva and her husband Jay, Christopher Joseph Gradwohl and his wife Nina, and Louise Marie Henderson and her husband Paul; proud grandmother to Austin Cuva; sister to the late Thomas Ossman; sister-in-law and dear friend to Dessa Ossman; aunt to Mark Ossman and Jeremi Ossman; and great aunt to Brady Ossman, Brennan Ossman, Vann Tate, Sterling Tate and Mila Tate.

A visitation for Geraldine will be held Friday, October 15, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI 48823. A visitation will occur Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM at Saint Thomas Aqunias Parish, 955 Alton Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823. A Funeral Mass will occur Saturday, October 16, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Saint Thomas Aqunias Parish, 955 Alton Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Ossman family.


  • Christopher Gradwohl
  • Jay Cuva
  • Mark Ossman
  • Paul Henderson
  • John Hubble
  • Jim Hubble


  • Visitation

    Friday, 15 October , 2021

  • Visitation

    Saturday, 16 October , 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, 16 October , 2021


Geraldine Louise Ossman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joan Wierzba

17 October 2021

Dear family of Gerry,
I knew Gerry from the choir at St. John's student parish. We sang alto together and when she sang next to me I knew I was singing alto right. I was more of a melody person, but the choir need altos. Gerry had a nice friendly and caring personality and I always enjoyed her company when she was at choir. I will miss her and I pray you will always feel her love when you listen to the choir at STA or SJC.
Love and prayers for eternal rest in God's loving hands for Gerry.

Mary Chris Hotchkiss

13 October 2021

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
- William A. Ward

Your mom was such a treasure to our family. She was our son's 2nd grade teacher at St Thomas. She adored and loved her students immensely and they did her. His school year with her was a game changer ...she inspired him to be curious about his world and he suddenly loved going to school. Last year when he graduated from high school, she sent him the most beautiful message. I only hope she knew how very, very much she was loved! Heaven has certainly gained another angel!

Mary Chris, Bob and Griffin Hotchkiss

Sherry Dunn

12 October 2021

Geri was such a beautiful gentle soul. She really was one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. When we were going through a tough time I remember your Mom not judging us and always met us with a smile and a hug. Her obituary really captured her true essence. I know she will be greatly missed. I am gone during the visitation and funeral but know you’re in our prayers.

Marisol MercadoSantiago

11 October 2021

Geri was my sponsor during the RCIA at St. John Church and Student Center. I appreciate all the time that she took to support me during my conversion, the stories that she shared, and her help in general. Since we had commonalities in our conversion process, her sponsorship was a key factor in my decision to become Catholic. I'm glad to have met her because she showed me that there was room for a person like me in the Church. May her soul be one with God's love.

Annie Kitching

9 October 2021

For many happy years we were two of the "Formation Ladies", and enjoyed so many challenges and adventures running the Religious Education program at St. Thomas. Geri's enthusiasm for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program made such a difference to so many young ones. My own children had the blessing of having Geri in their lives day in and day out. I chose her to be godmother to one of my children and another of my boys choose her himself, to be his Confirmation sponsor. We all saw the love that infused everything she did and the beauty and order that resulted. How she will be missed.

Janice Robke

7 October 2021

It was wonderful to have Geri for a 2nd grade teaching partner for 8 years at St. Thomas. I had the opportunity to work with a very talented and creative teacher. I'll always cherish this time. The most special times for me were teaching with Geri about the sacraments every year that students received. Also going to the Detroit Institute of Arts with the students was special. Geri introduced me and the students to this amazing place. Geri planned activities such as giving the students sketchbooks to use. The little ones felt so big using them. I also enjoyed meeting her family and spending time with her at book club.
My thoughts and prayers are with Geri and her family.

Joan Jones

4 October 2021

Teaching across the hall from Geri gave me the opportunity to see what a piano, a teacher who loves music and is a very talented artist plus 4 year old children can create together. The birds would flock to the feeder when they heard the piano start. The children would hush to see the birds and talk about what kinds they were. She taught them how to draw those birds and told great stories about all the animals and flowers she had coming to her yard. She tied in her religion lessons so beautifully. Thanks for teaching all of us. May the angels welcome you to paradise Geri. My thoughts and prayers to the family as you grieve.

From the Family

Headshot for Obituary & for brochure at visitation

From the Family

Headshot for Obituary & for brochure at visitation