Ilene Gerace

SALEM – Ilene E. Wathey Geisse Gerace, passed away at 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 16, 2013 at Blossom Nursing Center in Salem, where she had resided for the past seven years. She was 93.

Ilene was born on June 1, 1919, in Wellsville, a daughter of the late James R. and Irene Beatty Wathey. She was raised in the area, and had been a homemaker.

Prior to moving to Salem in October 2004, she was a member of East Liverpool Christian Womens Club, as well as Triangle Seniors. Ilene also belonged to Lady Elks at one time, and loved dancing and shopping.

She was preceded in death on March 10, 1986 by her husband, Frank J. Gerace, whom she married on May 30, 1947.

Surviving are her children: Joseph G. Geisse III and his wife, Susie, of Chester; Judy Cain and her husband, Allen, of East Liverpool; and Jon Michael Gerace and his wife, Pamela, of Salem.

There are seven grandchildren: Donna Lee Blankenship and her husband, Donald; Joseph G. Geisse IV and his wife, Vicki; Larry W. Headley and his wife, Jodi; Dr. Robert Cain and his wife, Gina; Debbie Pietsch and her husband, Dave; Jon Anthony Gerace and Adam Hickey. In addition, nine great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren survive, as well as one sister, Betty Lou Howell. Also surviving is Ilene’s best friend, Martha Parsons.

In addition to her parents and her husband, Ilene was preceded in death by her sisters, Lillian Rowley and Mary Jane Bonvenuto.

Friends may visit at Dawson Funeral Home on Friday, where the family will be present from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.

Services will be held at the funeral home at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with Pastor Tanta Luckhardt-Hendricks of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church officiating. Burial will take place at Riverview Cemetery. Following the burial, family and friends will return to Dawson Family Center for a continued time of fellowship.

Those wishing to do so may make a contribution in lieu of flowers c/o Alzheimer’s Association, Greater East Ohio Area Chapter, 70 W. Streetsboro St., Suite 201, Hudson, Ohio 44236 or to the charity of choice.

View Ilene’s memorial webpage and send condolences to the family online at