Susan S. Gerard

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Susan Joyner Shaw Gerard, 64, of Blounts Creek, N.C., died peacefully on January 11, 2017 at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, N.C., after a courageous and hard-fought battle against ovarian cancer.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at First United Methodist Church in Washington, officiated by the Rev. Kenneth Hall. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 4 until 6:00 pm at Wesley Hall of First United Methodist Church on Friday, January 13, 2017 and following the graveside service at the home of Kelly and Selden Taylor of Washington Park.

Mrs. Gerard was born December 26, 1952 in Norfolk, Va., to Capt. James Shaw and Betsy Thompson Shaw and was raised in Washington, N.C. She attended Washington City Schools and graduated from Washington High School, where she was active in student government and served as a cheerleader, in 1971. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before transferring to East Carolina University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1975. She pursued her graduate degree at East Carolina University in Administrative Science.

On June 2, 1974 she married the love of her life, Alpern Parker Gerard Jr., at First United Methodist Church in Washington. The couple celebrated their 42nd anniversary in 2016.

Susan served the health care needs of the local community throughout her career and earned several awards for that service. She began her career in home health, ultimately being named Vice-President of Home Health Operations at Tar Heel Home Health, a position she held until 1998. During her tenure she received the Leadership Award from the North Carolina Association of Home and Hospice Care.

She joined Beaufort Regional Health System in 1998 where she served as Outreach Services Manager, Assistant Administrator and Medical Practice Administrator before being named Chief Executive Officer in 2010. She was appointed Senior Director of Growth and Clinical Services at Vidant Beaufort Hospital in September 2011 and served in this capacity until her retirement in September 2016. She was inducted into the East Carolina University School of Nursing Hall of Fame and named the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce Community Leader of the Year in 2012 for leading Beaufort County Hospital through its transition to new ownership under then-University Health Systems.

Susan was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Washington and the Kaye Buckman Circle of the church. She was a member of the DeMille Book Club, an avid gardener and reader and found joy in helping others. She was an especially devoted caregiver to the sick and elderly and shared her love of decorating and cooking with family and close friends. She will be particularly remembered for her radiant smile.

She is survived by her husband, Alpern Parker Gerard Jr., of the home; children, Alison Gerard Mattocks and her husband, John Robert, of New Bern, N.C., Kelly Gerard Taylor and her husband, Selden, of Washington, NC, and son, Alpern Parker Gerard III, of Charlotte, N.C.; five grandchildren, Wood Mattocks, James Mattocks, Alden Taylor, Bruce Taylor and Wyatt Taylor; sisters, Cathy Shaw Fletcher of Washington, N.C. and Jami Shaw Gerard of Winston-Salem, N.C. She was pre-deceased by her parents and a sister, Diane Shaw Gerard.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in support of the Barbara Gray Howdy Meditation Garden at the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center, 1209 Brown Street, Washington, N.C. 27889.

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Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Gerard family.