NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — Our beloved Geri entered into her heavenly home on June 11, 2013 at age 94. She was born April 13, 1919 in Detroit, Mich., to Francis H. and Armilda Buchanan. On June 8, 1940 she married Paul J. Cortes, and they recently celebrated 73 loving years of marriage together.
She and Paul retired to New Smyrna Beach in 1978. Geri’s life was full of accomplishments, her greatest being a wife and mother, and she gracefully raised four children and a niece. Geri was a devout Catholic. She was second oldest of six children, and often took the role of surrogate mother for her three younger siblings. She was “Rosie the Riveter” and operated a centerless grinder during World War II. She was a Girl Scout leader and a Boy Scout mom, was a dedicated elections staff volunteer in Michigan and Florida, was a member of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in New Smyrna and sang in their choir, and served 20 years as a Volusia County Library Volunteer. Geri was a talented seamstress who made her own wedding gown as well as multiple garments and crafts for her family and friends. She enjoyed dancing, camping, tennis, canoeing, birdwatching, family pets, and cooking. She loved the beauty of nature, and especially enjoyed planting pansies every spring in her flower gardens.
Geri is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Paul J. Cortes. She is survived by sons Dennis P. Cortes, Gary F. Cortes (wife Nyoman), Craig R. Cortes (wife Jean), daughter Lorraine A. Wilcox (husband Marty), niece Kathleen D. Williams, seven grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. She is also survived by brothers Paul G. Buchanan (wife Shirley), and Ronald J. Buchanan (wife Joan), and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by brothers Richard J. “Dick” Buchanan, Robert J. Buchanan and Edward F. Buchanan.
Her final act of generosity was to donate her remains to the State Anatomical Board at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Lake Nona.
Her unconditional love to her family is felt now as it was shown during her life. We will all miss her dearly.