Geraldine Orosco, 76 of Charlotte, North Carolina passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 17, 2023. Geraldine, affectionately known as Gerry was born in Washington County, North Carolina on May 22, 1946 to the late Calvin James and Earlene Cordon James Basham.
Following high school graduation, Geraldine left rural eastern North Carolina for Durham, NC where she graduated from North Carolina Central University with a BS degree in Library Science. Of note, Geraldine and several North Carolina Central University students volunteered to write moral letters, which were delivered overseas to the dangerous battlefields of Vietnam. Unbeknownst to Geraldine, her morale letters would slowly translate to love letters to her dear and late husband, Alberto Orosco, Sr for over 50 joyous years of marriage. Geraldine breathed a sigh of relief with every return letter from Alberto, affectionately known as Rosco, as confirmation of life and confirmation of their budding romance.
Gerry and Rosco married on December 21, 1968 in Washington County, NC , ushering in the Christmas season , and really all the Christmas seasons to follow with extra joy and happiness. Geraldine always enjoyed the Christmas and New Year’s season with extra zeal, most importantly because she was a devoted Christian, and the season marked a special time and place in her heart. During the holiday season she played her favorite Kool and the Gang song “Celebration”, which was also her phone ring tone for nearly two decades. The Christmas season really highlighted the best qualities of Geraldine’s giving and generous spirit.
Following a brief teaching assignment in Suffolk, Virginia, Geraldine was recruited to teach in the Newport, RI public school system. At first, Geraldine found her travels to Rhode Island by way of New York very peculiar, as she would jokingly and sometimes not so jokingly say, “these northerners don’t offer you anything to eat when you visit their homes, they offer plenty of alcohol, but no food.” Geraldine of course endeared, even the most hardened northerners with her North Carolina charm and southern cooking, including her favorite Carolina red sausage. Geraldine thoroughly embraced her new life and home in New England, and became a passionate Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. Her favorite player of all time was past Red Sox great , Jim Rice, partly because she thought he was handsome, and also because he was from Carolina. When she was not enjoying Carolina red sausage, she became really adept, and quite great at preparing New England favorites (stuffed lobster, seafood newburg and stuffed quahogs), which would rival any of the high end New England eateries around town.
Professionally, Geraldine served exceptionally and honorably as a librarian and English teacher in the Newport Public School System for over 30 years. She rarely took sick leave and retired with an overabundance of leave time , which she kindly donated back to the school system. She was dearly beloved and respected by everyone, and her meritorious acts of kindness and dedication far exceed the time and space constraints of this written passage. Noteworthy, and somewhat folklore legend was her pledge to personally rent a limousine for the disadvantaged high school seniors on graduation day, which was quite the talk of the town at the time, further highlighting her beautiful spirit.
Geraldine had a very reserved disposition, which was warm and welcoming; however when struck with crisis, her stature and positive presence grew exponentially. She was strong. She was tough. Real tough. She always rose to the occasion, and did not back down from tough times or tough situations. Geraldine was incredibly gracious, generous and kind , with a radiating inner beauty that transcended age, race, culture and status. She quietly functioned as a mother figure for many, particularly troubled youth, and was a pillar of strength in her family and community. Geraldine was a proud member of the NAACP and used her platform and status to advance social justice and honorably represent the disadvantaged.
Following the passing of her beloved husband, Rosco on April 2, 2020, she relocated to a well appointed active adult community near her son, Alberto, Jr in Charlotte. She made friends quickly, and really enjoyed herself with the vast and varied activities in her new community. Everyone loved Gerry. Several community members were extremely saddened by Geraldine’s passing and stated that she was so generous that she made a large cash donation weeks before her passing. Geraldine loved her gospel music. She loved traveling and collecting perfume fragrances. She loved game shows (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Family Feud), and detective dramas (Matlock). Most of all, she loved spending time with family and friends.
Geraldine, was not really into self- indulgence, excess or shopping. In fact, one had to force Geraldine to buy new clothes, because she would rather allocate her resources to more worthy causes. Those who knew her best, knew that behind the faded shoes and faded purse, was the heart of a lion that never faded. If we can no longer smell the scent of her many fragrances, her spirit still remains sweeter than ever. Although Gerry was notoriously known to be claustrophobic and feared closed doors, the gates of Heaven are open for her. Geraldine was an extremely beautiful person who will be dearly missed. Geraldine is coming home. It is a Celebration. Gerry is home, in peace with Rosco.
Geraldine is survived by Albert Orosco , Jr (Son), Melissa Orosco (Daughter-in-law), Pedro Orosco (Son), Perfecto Orosco (Son), Steve Orosco (Son), Tamia Orosco (Granddaughter), Gianna Orosco (Granddaughter), Perfecto Orosco (Grandson), Milan Orosco (Granddaughter), Melia Orosco (Granddaughter), Alberto Orosco, III (Grandson), Sarah Orosco (Granddaughter), Nancy James Williams (Sister), Dexter James (Brother), Clydette James Jones (Sister).
She was preceded in death by Calvin James (Father), Earlene Cordan James Basham (Mother), Alberto Orosco, Sr (Spouse).
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 27, 2023 at 10:00am at the Community Baptist Church, 50 Marcus Wheatland Blvd., Newport.
Services for Mrs. Orosco will immediately follow her visitation in Community Baptist Church at 11:00am. To view the livestream of Mrs. Orosco’s services please follow, https://link.memorial/GeraldineOrosco. Burial will be private.
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