Born July 6, 1930 to Irwin and Mildred (Moore) Read, Gerald grew up in rural Gorham, NY. He graduated from Gorham HS as valedictorian in 1948 and from Cornell University in 1952. While serving as a US Army meat inspector during the Korean War, Gerry married his first wife, Martha Wolfanger, in 1953. After teaching agriculture in Georgetown, NY for five years, Gerry and family moved to Prattsburgh, NY, where he taught agriculture and vocational classes, served as advisor to the FFA Club, drove school bus and coached various JV sports for over 30 years. In his “spare” time, he held various state teacher association offices, played adult softball and was a member of the Prattsburgh Volunteer Fire Department, American Legion and Masons. Gerry married his second wife, Shirley (Cromwell) Barnum in 1976. After both retired from Prattsburgh Central School, they traveled the world and spent time with their 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
Gerry was pre-deceased by both wives (Martha 2007 and Shirley 2023), his brother David Read, sister-in-law Patricia Read and brothers-in-law John Keene and Morgan Knapp. He is survived by his brother Paul (Christine) Read, sister Avis Knapp, his children Darlene Mahnke (John Orbaker), Donna (Joel) Fiske, Darryl (Donna) Read, Douglas Read, Calvin (Theresa) Barnum, Cindi (Jerry) Noeth, the above mentioned grand and great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass will be held November 18th 11:00am at St Michael’s Church in Penn Yan, NY, with a Celebration of Life immediately following at the Prattsburgh Fire Hall, Prattsburgh, NY. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Gerald and Shirley Barnum Read Scholarship Fund, c/o Prattsburgh Central School, 1 Academy St, Prattsburgh, NY 14873. Memories of Gerry may be shared with his family and friends at townsendwoodzinger.com