Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

EDWARD J. “NED”
GERRITY JR. (1924–2009)

Ned Gerrity was a great patron of WVOX and WVIP and
many great causes. He was a beloved figure in the
corporate world and in Westchester.

May it please you, Reverend Fathers: Monsignor Patrick Boyle, the beloved pastor of this historic church; and an old friend of the Gerrity family, Father Mark Connolly, a great communicator and host of his own coast-to-coast radio program. I will intrude only briefly on this sad morning.

Edward, you are your father’s son. I am capable of no higher compliment.

You know, Ned planned this whole thing in his final days! He knew—he just knew—all of you would be here in this great church. And he is glad you came, as are Nadia and Katharine and Edward III, and all the Bardwils.

I will try to tell you a little bit about this amazing man whom we mourn and whose life we celebrate, if you will allow me.

Gerrity didn’t always reside in the rarefied precincts of Rye or among the poor of Palm Beach. (Actually, they are poor now!)

He came from the Lackawanna Valley, in the Appalachian mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania: coal country. Or, as he liked to say, “hard coal” country, as opposed to the much inferior “soft coal” country farther west, out around Pittsburgh.

Scranton, Pennsylvania, was his birthplace eighty-five years ago. And it wasn’t any kind of hardscrabble beginning. His father was the executive editor of the Scranton Times and an elder of the town.

Ned grew up near a bend of the mighty Susquehanna River, which flows hundreds of miles from its headwaters near the Finger Lakes all the way down to the Chesapeake.

This was all before the interstate highways built by Dwight Eisenhower coursed through Scranton and neighboring Wilkes-Barre— routes 84, 81, and 360 all now run to Scranton.

-548-

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