Gerard (Jerry) Grace, 69, of Binghamton, passed away peacefully after a heroic battle with cancer on June 19, 2020, with his family by his side. He was the beloved husband of Nancy (Stein) Grace, father to Aimee Chaluisant and Melanie Grace, and father-in-law to Ernest Chaluisant. He leaves behind his siblings William (Bill) Grace (Nancy), Mary Beth Grace (Kate Kosewic), and Patti Ann (Mickey) McNamara; his sisters- and brothers-in-law Mary (Grant) Buck, Thomas (Lisa) Stein, Carol (Mark) Carlson, Rosemary (Joe) Stalvey, and Delorme Smith. He was predeceased by his loving parents, William and Kathryn Grace, and a brother-in-law James T. Stein. He was beloved by many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, loyal cousins, and faithful friends.
Jerry was born to Kay and Bill in Binghamton, NY, on April 20, 1951. He attended Catholic schools and excelled in cross country and track, where he held the record for the mile for many years. As a basketball player he earned the nickname Leapin’ Leon for his abilities at the rim, and he was a life-long athlete. He went on to Sullivan County Community College where he received a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management. His red Mustang took him on many adventures away from Binghamton, but his heart and love belonged to Binghamton, where he reconnected with his high school sweetheart, and the rest is history.
Jerry was gifted with humor, compassion, introspection, style and grace. He dedicated his life to serving others as a true peace officer, retiring from the Binghamton Police Department after a 29-year career as a patrolman. He made us all better people and helped raise the vibration of the planet as an ambassador of kindness and being true to oneself. Jerry had a surprise second career as a part-time substitute teacher’s aide for the Binghamton School district. He took his family on yearly trips to the Jersey Shore and the Gettysburg battlefield, where he instilled in his children his passion for history.
Jerry loved spending time with his daughters, his pets, playing the guitar (especially concerts with grandnephew Connor), barbequing, a cold Labatt’s, landscaping, home improvements, a good round of golf, the Mets, and hoping for the big lottery/casino payoff. His daughters were the pride and joy of his life. Jerry wasn’t dealt an easy hand when he received his cancer diagnosis in 2018; he was diagnosed with not one but two types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The “man of steel” was willing to give everything he had to fight this horrible disease and bravely endured a range of treatments. Although he lost the battle, Jerry's kindness to others will be his legacy. He was a gentle spirit on Earth and his transition to Heaven will be an easy one.
The family will receive friends at the Thomas J. Shea Funeral Home, Inc., 137 Robinson St., Binghamton, NY this Friday, June 26, from 4 – 7 pm.
We would like to recognize those who helped him with this battle, including the kind and caring aides and nurses at One Ross, Lourdes Hospital; Dr. Kloss and Dr. Yalamanchili and the staff at Broome Oncology; and Dr. Falchi and the staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Broome County Humane Society.
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