Best on the Shoreline!
It's time to nominate your favorites for the 2021 Best on the Shoreline Awards!
Kristen Jude (Gerthoffer) Woodmansee, 54, of Old Saybrook, passed away on Aug. 16 after a three-year battle with cancer.
Kristen was born Sept. 11, 1965, in Syracuse, New York, the youngest child of Bernard and Suzanne Gerthoffer. Kristen graduated from Bishop Grimes High School in Syracuse in 1983. She attended St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, graduating with a BBA degree in marketing in 1987. Despite the fact that she was a proud alumna of St. Bonaventure University, she was a lifelong fan of all Syracuse University sports teams. She rarely missed a basketball game—always in front of the TV (when not there in person) decked out in her Syracuse gear.
It was at St. Bonaventure that she met her husband David P. Woodmansee. They married on Sept. 29, 1990, in Syracuse and relocated to Old Saybrook in 1994. Sadly, she lost Dave to cancer in September of 2019 after caring for him tenderly despite her own illness. Kristen and Dave loved their adopted hometown of Old Saybrook, and they made many lifelong friends in that community. Those friends were an amazing source of support to Kristen and Dave throughout their illnesses, due perhaps in part to the fact that Kristen and her late husband were selfless and always seemed to give far more than they took.
Since 1997, Kristen worked as the vice president of marketing and business development at Old Lyme-based OHS Companies, including serving as president of OHS Sleep Center Partners LLC since 2007.
More than anything, Kristen loved her family—especially her parents, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and their children. She also loved her many nieces and nephews deeply. She always enjoyed hosting them at her home in Old Saybrook, and she was incredibly proud to watch them grow into fine young men and women.
Following her cancer diagnosis, her friend and employer Jack Spratt endowed a scholarship in Kristen’s honor in association with the oldest sailing educational program in the country (through the Mystic Seaport and aboard the schooner Brilliant). Fittingly, it was named KRIS for Kristen’s traits of Kindness, Respect, Integrity, and Sincerity. She was proud that the first recipient of the scholarship and a 10-day sailing program on Brilliant was her nephew Alex.
Kristen was preceded in death by her husband, Dave. She is survived by her mother Suzanne and her father Bernie, as well as her stepmother Judy, and her brothers Lenny and Paul (a/k/a “Spooker”), step-siblings Tracey, Bill, Jill, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and countless friends. She will be missed dearly by all who knew her.
Visiting hours were held on Aug. 19 at the Swan Funeral Home, 1224 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook. Due to COVID-19 concerns, a private Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. John’s Catholic Church, Old Saybrook. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kristen’s name to the American Cancer Society.