Carol Geracioti, who channeled her interests and curiosities into volunteer service for cultural and civic causes, died Thursday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. She was 78.
She had kidney failure and was in declining health after the death in 2009 of her husband, Dr. Thomas Geracioti, their son Mike said.
A Perrysburg resident since the early 1990s, Mrs. Geracioti most recently was a member of the city's street tree commission, and was a member of the Country Garden Club of Perrysburg.
She was long active in the Toledo Symphony League and was a former co-chairman of a its benefit fashion show. In 2004, she was named a Crescendo in recognition of her service to the league.
She was a former Toledo Opera board member and was a co-chairman of the opera association's 1977 Sapphire Ball.
"She had a lot of enthusiasm and was so much fun to be with," said June Roshe, a longtime friend who was general chairman that year. Planning meetings could be thick with detail, but "she would say something funny, and that would relieve the tension," Mrs. Roshe said.
She was a former aide of the Toledo Museum of Art and a former chairman of its Collector's Corner, which features the work of local artists.
Her volunteer work "was for the greater good," her son said.
"Raising a family was important to her, but so were the cultural aspects," he said. "She understood the importance of having a city that had something to offer. My father was quite proud."
Her husband was a physician -- one of the area's first kidney specialists -- and she was a treasurer of the auxiliary of the Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County.
Mrs. Geracioti, formerly of South Toledo, was on the board of what was then called the St. Vincent Hospital Guild, and was a member of the St. Luke's Hospital Auxiliary.
At home, "she was the one who raised us, because my dad was working 18 hours a day," her son said. She took care of household repair and upkeep; she went to her sons' sports practices.
"She was sort of a renaissance woman," son Mike said. "She loved it, and she did all this extra stuff because she had all these interests. She was a very strong-willed woman."
Mrs. Geracioti was a painter and collected antiques and folk art. She did needlepoint, cross stitch, and knitting.
She liked to cook and entertain, and her annual Christmas party was a can't-miss event for her friends, Mrs. Roshe said.
Her son Mike added: "She enjoyed having people in her home. It was a focal point for my friends and I growing up, starting in high school and to this day. Everyone came. There would be symposium-style discussions on philosophy and politics and religion, which were presided over by my mother and father.
"People could express their individuality without fear of being judged," he said. "Maybe catcalled, but not judged."
She was born in 1934, in Lodi, Ohio, to Gertrude and Alva Neidhardt. She grew up in nearby Spencer, Ohio, where she and her husband met and began dating in high school. They married Aug. 20, 1955.
She came along as he pursued medical training, with her work as an office manager supporting the family while he was in medical school at Georgetown University in Washington.
The family moved to Toledo in 1963.
She was a member of St. Rose Church and Carranor Hunt & Polo Club, both in Perrysburg, and the Toledo Club.
Surviving are her sons, Michael, David, and Dr. Thomas Geracioti, Jr.; sister, Helen Sooy, and seven grandchildren.
Services will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday in St. Rose Church, where visitation will begin at 1 p.m. Arrangements are by the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg.
The family suggests tributes to St. John's Jesuit High School.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: email@example.com or 419-724-6182.
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