Geraldine "Gerry" (Orthouse) Mulligan went home to her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, just one day before her 78th birthday.
She was an identical twin born to Elizabeth Orthouse (Van Lenten) and Gerardus Orthouse (Oorthuys) in Paterson, New Jersey.
Initially residing in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and then Jacksonville, Fla., the family moved to Wyckoff, N.J., in 1948 where Gerry grew up and graduated Ramapo High School in 1960.
Gerry and her twin were always very close growing up, often doing things together and cheering each other on.
Gerry met her husband, John C. Mulligan, a naval submarine serviceman, in 1957 and they were married in 1959. They resided in Oakland, N.J., with their two children, Loraine (1962) and David (1965) until 1968 when they moved to West Milford, N.J.
They purchased the ‘Old Homestead’ on Greenwood Lake, which they built into a successful recreational business known as "Greenwood Lake Swim, Boat, and Tennis Club." Gerry and John owned and managed the business until selling it in 1981 and moving to the East Shore of Greenwood Lake.
After selling their business, Gerry earned her BA in Accounting and Information Systems from Ramapo College and was employed by Union Camp as an Accounting Systems Analyst until her retirement in 2000.
In 2004, Gerry and John moved to Vernon, N.J., were she was an active member of the Vernon Seniors and enjoyed travelling with her husband and spending time with their five grandchildren. One of their most memorable trips was a two-week 40th anniversary trip on their cabin cruiser up the Hudson River to the Erie Canal and then through the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario. Among their fondest memories were all the interesting people they met along the way and the many kindnesses extended to them on their journey.
During Gerry’s time in West Milford, she was involved with the Greenwood Lake Watershed Management Commission and an elected Republican Committee Representative.
She attended Calvary Baptist Church in West Milford where she taught Sunday school; and later Ringwood Baptist Church in Ringwood, N.J.
In addition to being a dedicated and loving wife and mother and an astute business woman, Gerry loved boating, tennis, snowmobiling, country line dancing and being involved in her Church. Throughout her entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her. Gerry was currently a member of Living Word Alliance Church in Hewitt, N.J., were she was involved in missions, elder selection and women’s Bible study, as well as hosting home Bible study groups.
Gerry was predeceased by her husband, John C. Mulligan (2006) and both of her parents.
She is survived by her daughter, Loraine (Lori) LePera (Mulligan) and husband, Kevin, son, David Mulligan and wife, Laura (Romanello); twin sister, Elizabeth (Betty) Regan (Orthouse) and husband, Charles, brother, Richard Oorthuys and wife, Anne (Vreeland), brother, Douglas Orthouse and wife, Marilyn (Elkland); grandchildren, Ryan LePera and wife, Colleen (Dieterle), Kyle LePera and wife, Lauren (Chiarchiaro), Sean LePera and girlfriend, PJ Critser, Jonathan Mulligan, Victoria Mulligan, great-grandson, Jameson LePera; eight nieces and nephews and their families.
One of Gerry’s favorite passages from an early age is Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Gerry will be laid to rest beside her husband at the Northern New Jersey Veteran’s Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life Service is planned for July 18th at Living Word Church, 93 Lakeshore Drive, Hewitt, NJ 07421 and all are welcome.
Please contact LWAC for details as the date gets closer.
The family is requesting donations in lieu of flowers to the Parkinson’s Foundation or COVID-19 Frontline Workers. Parkinson's Foundation, https://www.parkinson.org/ 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131, 1-800-473-4636 or Samaritan’s Purse, https://www.samaritanspurse.org/, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607, 1-828-262-1980.
Arrangements were made by Richards Funeral Home in West Milford.