Geraldine Martin Gillen

February 17, 1932April 27, 2021

On Tuesday, April 27th, 2021, Geraldine Mary Martin Gillen died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family. “Gerry” was 89 years old. Born to John Robinson Martin and Estelle Jobert on February 17, 1932, Gerry remained a lifelong resident of New Orleans. The very next day after her early graduation from Francis T. Nicholls High School in 1950, she began working for Whitney National Bank Main Branch where she remained for the next 43 years. She missed her own retirement party to welcome her grandson into the world, and her family and grandchildren remained her sole focus until her last breath. Her younger days were spent enjoying Pontchartrain Beach and Biloxi Beach where she and her friends escaped every weekend to chase the “Fly Boys” at Keesler Air Force Base. Gerry lived through the Great Depression, WWII, the Cold War, the Korean War, and Vietnam. She saw the first moon landing and the most recent rover landing on Mars. She saw the release of the first commercial television, the era of mass commercial flights, computers, the Internet, and the cell phone. She married a Korean War veteran, William Gillen Jr. and is survived by three heartbroken children, William F. Gillen III (Marie), Gerald “Jaybyrd” Gillen (Schelly), and Mary Gillen Halpern (David). She will be forever affectionately known as “Mammy” to her grandchildren: William C. Gillen (Amy), Taylor C. Schmitt (Meghan) who she always worried if he was warm, Virginia L. Halpern with whom she shared a love of scary movies, Julia E. Gillen with whom her favorite escape was a good steakhouse because her daughter only cooked vegetarian style, Mitchell Halpern who she never failed to ask if he needed money, and Charley C. Halpern who always kissed her cold nose. She leaves behind four great grandchildren: Mariah L. Tran (Corey) with whom she shared a birthday, Kailey Gillen, Stacy Gillen, and Will Gillen. She is also survived by the youngest of her three sisters, Janice M. Barrios and pre-deceased by her sisters Dorothy Martin Lyons and Joan Martin Ahrens. Gerry will be remembered by her family and friends for her head turning beauty, her stylish hair no one was allowed to touch, her movie star presence, the lady who went to work every day in high heels, and the glamor girl who won “best dressed woman at the bank.” But, she will be most remembered for her kindness, her selfless devotion to the well-being of her children and grandchildren and the insurmountable courage she mustered to fight a long, exhausting battle with pulmonary fibrosis. She was stoic and smiling until her need to rest became greater than her need to live. The family would like to thank Cilia Espinoza who loved and cared for our mother like she was her own, Jason Valenza with Pulse Home Health for giving her the motivation to take “just one more step”, St. Jude to whom her fierce devotion allayed all her fears, and to Fr. Lawrence Murori Muuna who provided her with spiritual comfort in the end.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass of Christian burial at St. Pius X Catholic Church located at 6666 Spanish Fort Blvd. New Orleans, LA. 70124 on Saturday, May 8th, 2021 at 1:30pm. Visitation before mass beginning at 12:30pm. All attending must wear masks. Private Interment to follow at Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in her memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

The family invites you to share your thoughts, fond memories and condolences online at


  • Visitation

    Saturday, May 8, 2021

  • Memorial Mass

    Saturday, May 8, 2021


Geraldine Martin Gillen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeanne Paisant

May 1, 2021

Mary and David
So sorry for your loss.
She was a beautiful lady and always so sweet.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers .

Sharon A. Galman (Funeral Director)

April 30, 2021

The entire staff at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home wishes to express our sincere condolences.