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Geraldine Bucalo

Obituary for Geraldine Bucalo

March 18, 2021
Centerville, Maryland


Geraldine "Jerri" (nee Melchior) Bucalo of Centreville, MD, and formerly of Washington Crossing, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and Southampton, PA, died on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at the age of 74.
Jerri, the only child of Emma (Venere) and Joseph Melchior, grew up in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia, PA. As a young girl, she fell in love with the boy who lived around the block, Bob Bucalo. When Bob was shipped off to Vietnam for a tour of duty, Jerri waited patiently at home and earned an Associates degree from Peirce Junior College. Jerri and Bob married upon his return in 1969 and would remain married for 50 years until his death in 2019.Together with their two daughters, Jerri and Bob traveled the world for Bob's foreign service career. The family lived in the Philippines, Japan, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Kuwait. Jerri worked as an administrative assistant in various U.S. Embassies around the world. Once Bob and Jerri returned to the Philadelphia area, she worked for over ten years at O'Hara, Ward and Associates, an accounting firm located in her old Southampton neighborhood .A lifetime spent packing and unpacking, moving to different lands with different cultures and languages never phased Jerri. She took each new move in stride and quickly found friends wherever she went. She was stoic when times were hard and upbeat despite setbacks. This attitude served her well when she was diagnosed with cancer. Jerri embodied the "never complain, never explain" outlook on life. Even when cancer treatments laid her low, she rarely talked about her pain or discomfort. She had an admirable stoicism to the end, and took her joy in the people she loved. The people she loved the most were her daughters and their husbands, Jennifer (Ryan Wilkins) and Jessica (John Findanis); and Jennifer Stefano (John), whom she loved as a daughter. She was a devoted grandmother to her most treasured granddaughter Julianna (Julie), and to John, Henry, and Philippa Stefano, whom she loved as grandchildren. To Jerri, Julie was the world. Jerri and Bob happily bid adieu to their beloved Philadelphia area home in 2019 and moved to Maryland to be closer to their granddaughter. There wasn't a wall or tabletop in Jerri's home that wasn't filled with photos of Julie. Even as cancer took over her body, Jerri was energized when Julie was around. As a parent, Jerri's daughters described her as the opposite of a Tiger Mom. Unimpressed by academic achievements, Jerri's sole concerns were whether her daughters had tried their best and whether they were happy. Despite Jerri and Bob both being only children and having never lived in one spot for very long, they build a large network of friends and people whom they considered family who now grieve the loss of both of them.
Family and friends can pay their respects on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home (323 Washington Avenue, Newtown, PA 18940) between the hours of 10:00 -11:00 AM.
Her interment will take place at Washington Crossing National Cemetery (830 Highland Road, Newtown, PA 18940) promptly at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society or charities that support US veterans or law enforcement. .

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Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.

323 East Washington Avenue
Newtown, PA 18940
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