Mass of Christian burial celebrating the life of Cecilia Irene Gerads, age 85 of Albany (formerly Upsala) will be 11AM, July 19, 2011 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church of St. Francis.  Father Michael Kellogg will officiate, and burial will take place in the parish cemetery following the service.  Cecilia died at the Albany hospital Monday morning.  Friends may call from 9:30-11AM with sharing starting at 10AM, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.  Arrangements are being made with the Miller-Carlin Brenny Funeral Home of Albany.

Ceil was born October 30, 1925 to Stanley and Mary (Symanietz) Scepaniak in Holdingford.  She grew up on the farm in Holdingford.  After graduating from Holdingford High School, she went on to college at St. Cloud State University where she obtained a teaching degree in 1975.  Her 30 plus year teaching career started in a one-room country school, and ended with her retirement in the 80s as the Media Specialist with the Upsala School District.  She met Paul Gerads through a friend who connected them as pen pals while Paul was serving in the Army during WWII.  They were married on August 13, 1946 at St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church of Holdingford, and were married 64 years until Paul’s death in 2010.  They had 8 children together.  Her interests included gardening, quilting, crafting, reading, family, and high school musicals.  Her love of sewing produced many quilts which she not only gifted to each of her grandchildren but to her church parishes over the years as well.  She devoted much of her time and energy to her family, and in her retirement, enjoyed 20 years of running P and C’s Attic in St. Francis with her husband Paul.  Ceil was an active member of the St. Francis Christian Mothers, the Legion Auxiliary, and the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church of St. Francis.

Cecilia is survived by her children, Arlene (Dick) Perlinger, Swanville; Jim Gerads, St. Francis; Al (Beverly) Gerads, Rice; Betsy (Marty) Mahowald, St. Cloud; Joan (Dennis) Sand, Albany; Helen (Greg) Clark, Punta Gorda, FL; Kathy (Bob) Head, Punta Gorda, FL; Trish (Jeff) Johnson, Avon; her 14 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.

She is preceded in death by her mother and father, her husband Paul Gerads, her brothers Al Scepaniak,  John Scepaniak, her sister Irene Bessenhoffer, her daughter-in-law Nancy Kay Gerads, and grandson Joseph Sand.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.  Memorials will be donated to Sr Joan Gerads’s Parish Neighborhood Renewal Ministry and the Upsala Elementary School Library.