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100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
Robert Gerrish

Robert R. Gerrish

Sunday, September 21st, 1924 - Saturday, December 21st, 2019
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Robert R. Gerrish, 95, a long-time resident of Potsdam, NY passed away peacefully at home on the afternoon of December 21, 2019, with the love and support of his family at his side.

Robert was born September 21, 1924 in West New York, New Jersey, the son of the late Charles Percy and Mary Elizabeth (O’Neill) Gerrish. At the age of 8 his parents brought him to Potsdam to live with his maternal grandparents. His early education included attending Potsdam Normal School. He later earned his GED while in Georgia and a certificate in business as well. In 1949, he married Isabel Lewis in Reno, Nevada. She predeceased him on October 12, 1967.

Robert left Potsdam and high school in 1943 to work as a rodman for the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. He remained in government service as a surveyor for his entire career, rising to the senior position of Chief of Party. During his long career Robert traveled all over the United States, working on projects that would become an integral part of the nation’s infrastructure. He led the resurveying of The Capitol in Washington, DC, trained visiting college students, and served as a consulting surveyor for the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska. Robert enjoyed improving safety and efficiency in the workplace. He suggested crews wear brightly colored vests to alert motorists that surveyors were working nearby. His idea earned Robert a letter of commendation, a $25 savings bond, and led to the safety gear found at work sites everywhere.

After his retirement, Robert returned to Potsdam. He was a longtime communicant of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and for many years was an avid golfer. Robert was also a lifelong NY Yankees fan, and a local sports enthusiast. He cherished the times he was able to attend his grandchildren’s hockey games and cheer from the stands as their biggest fan.

Robert Gerrish is survived by his sons Michael (Carol Everin Gerrish) of Glenmont, NY, Mark Gerrish (Rhonda Rish) of Potsdam, grandchildren Robert S. Gerrish (Ashley Kerstetter Gerrish), Lianna Gerrish (Shaun Endres), Casey Gerrish, Mark Gerrish II (Kyrie Newtown), and Austie Gerrish, great-grandchildren Isabelle, Ellenor, Milo, and Birdie, his brother Charles Gerrish, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by his brothers, John “Jack”, Louis, and Russell “Bud” Gerrish; and his sisters, Hilda Scheyer and E. Virginia “Ted” Loer.

Friends may call Friday, December 27, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home, Potsdam. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2:00 PM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Rev. Stephen Rocker, celebrating. Burial will be held in the spring at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Potsdam. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may consider memorial contributions to Potsdam Humane Society or Potsdam Minor Hockey.

Robert’s entire family extends their gratitude to the many aides who provided the care and assistance that enabled him to remain at home and keep the birds and squirrels well fed: to Corey, Kayla, Mark, and especially his dear friend Patti White…thank you. May all be blessed with companions such as these.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, December 27th, 2019 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Friday, December 27th, 2019 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Donaldson ~ Seymour Funeral Home
    4 Cedar Street
    POTSDAM, NY 13676
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, December 27th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Friday, December 27th, 2019 2:00pm
    St. Mary's Catholic Church - Potsdam
    Lawrence Ave
    POTSDAM, NY 13676
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Stephen Rocker
  • Interment

    St. Mary's Cemetery - Potsdam
    Route 56
    POTSDAM, NY 13676
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Deborah Nelson

Posted at 11:05am
My condolences to the family of Robert Gerrish. I did not know him, but did know his name as part of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey benchmark descriptions. By chance I have come across the video of a 1966 WABI-TV news report that was archived at the Northeast Historic Film in Bucksport, Maine. I recently found an article in the Bangor Daily News that goes hand in hand with the video. I have posted the video on my wife's FB page: and would love to her from Michael about their exploits in Maine. My number is 207-416-9292, or use Facebook. I sincerely hope the family likes the video.

Sarah Fiacco

Posted at 09:59am
I have only fond memories of Mr. Gerrish. I spent lots of time at the house with Mark and his Dad was always so nice to us. As we got older, I’d see Mr. Gerrish around town and he always remembered me. Loved his smile! My condolences to Mark and his family.

Edward Boyd

Posted at 09:13pm
Dear Michael and all your family, including Charlie,

We are so sorry for your loss and grateful that your Dad was able to receive such fine care from you and others at the end of his life.
He was my Stewarts buddy when I still lived in Hannawa until 6 years ago when I moved to Star Lake and then to Gouverneur. We both frequented Stewarts for a several-year period and I so enjoyed our conversations there; he was a fine man and I always felt refreshed after a chat with him. We lost my mother just last Saturday, Take care Mike and may fond memories serve you well.

Ed and Roxy Boyd

Mark Tishberg

Posted at 10:08am
Papa, it was a real treasure to be able to spend the time I did with you as a Caregiver for a couple years. I truly enjoyed watching you feed the birds and squirrels and taking you for drives after dinner, especially to Canton to Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone! RIP, you will be missed by the many...Mark Tishberg

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