Though they don’t always tell us why they give to University of Detroit Mercy, donors have their reasons. We love when donors share their stories, like Mary Jane Gerow did in a letter that came with a recent gift.
I am sending this donation to the University in remembrance of my husband, Clare William Gerow, who died Sept. 30, 2018.
I met Clare as a partner in a physics class with another partner. I was not very knowledgeable, but they put up with me. I observed Clare that year and saw what a kind person he was. He asked me for a date late in the summer. Then, just before school started in September, my father died. I knew then that I couldn’t return to school and would not see Clare again.
As shy as I was, I called Father Joseph Foley, S.J. He was a student counselor and I knew him because he
allowed students to gather in his outer office when we had no classes and nowhere else to go. He even supplied chairs and small tables. I asked him if I could go for my senior year and pay later, when I would be working.
He called back in a day or so and said I could come to school and I would not owe anything.
I was so happy — I loved the school, the teachers and fellow students. My mother was also happy. She had to go to work and couldn’t help financially.
Clare and I started dating and graduated together in 1951. Before he left for Ames, Iowa to work for his Ph.D., we were married, moved there and had our first three children there. The other 10 were born in other states. Then we retired to Richmond, Va.
So, I often think about how happy my life is, and I thank Fr. Foley.
Unfortunately, Clare died, but he was such a kind person, father and husband. He is remembered.
I hope this money can help another student.
Mary Jane (Gillett) Gerow