Esther Gerace, the matriarch of Welby Gardens and the founder of the family business along with her husband Alex, passed away on Monday, Feb. 20, at the age of 96.
Esther and Alex (who passed away in 2001) were the foundation of Gerace family business of Welby Gardens. Her love for flowers inspired Welby Gardens to grow into the business it has become today.
According to a statement from Welby Gardens, Esther was the strength of the family, never shying away from back-breaking work. In her early years, she could be found working in the fields and later in the retail shop until she finally retired at 92 years old. Family and friends knew they would find her in the shop awaiting their visit with cookies and coffee.
Gerace was born on April 4, 1920, the daughter of Rosina and Carmine Pugliese. She was raised in Irondale, CO, with her three siblings. She married Alex Gerace on November 6, 1938, and they were happily married for 62 years. She was preceded in death by her daughter Phil Finnell, granddaughter DeAnn Ball, and grandson Lee Campbell. She is survived by five children, 15 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
In Gerace’s memory and in lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to the following funds:
Phil Finnell Scholarship:
Phil Finnell Scholarship Fund
959 S. Kipling Pkwy., Suite 200
Lakewood, CO 80226
Alzheimer’s Association Colorado Chapter:
Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado
455 Sherman St., Suite 500
Denver, CO 80203