It is with great sadness that the family of Professor Jerrie Gavalchin announces her tragic passing, on Sunday, May 3, 2020, at the age of 64 years old.
Jerrie was born on August 15, 1955 in Montgomery, AL. She was the daughter of the late Emil J. and Geraldine M. Schuster Gavalchin.
Growing up in a family of 5 children she had always had a passion for learning and trying to understand how things worked. She pursued that interest in attending Rutgers College in 1977 and graduating with her doctoral degree in Microbiology from the Rutger's University in 1983. During that time she married her husband, Carl Batt a fellow graduate student who also shared her interests in education.
Arriving in the Ithaca area in 1985 she joined the faculty at Upstate Medical Center focusing her work on diseases including Lupus and AIDS. In 2000, took on an additional faculty appointment at Cornell University while still maintaining her research at Upstate. At Cornell her endless energy and devotion to helping others with their career choices and education will be long remembered. Jerrie was an advisor to so many students, in a lot of cases being their second or even first mom, a confidant on matters that extended well beyond the usual academic concerns. She was an advisor to the Dressage Club at Cornell and donated to Loaves and Fishes in Cortland and the Groton Library. Before and even through the corona virus outbreak she was donating plasma on a regular basis. She and her husband spent their free time tending to their 1850’s house and farm in the Groton area where they raised their cherished daughter, Samantha. Together they shared her passion for horses and encouraged her travels to become an outstanding equestrian. The bond between mother and daughter was strengthened more during these Covid times when Jerrie was able to spend the past 7 weeks with her daughter visiting home. Jerrie was very health conscious and loved to go for daily runs and enjoyed activities outside whether it was to travel, entertain or to bike.
Jerrie is survived by her loving husband, Carl Batt, her daughter, Samatha of NYC, her siblings, Bette Lee Farber of Warminster, PA, John (Catharine) Gavalchin of Closter, NJ, James (Laura Perks) Gavalchin of Robbinsville, NJ, and Robert (Monica) Gavalchin of Royal Palm Beach, FL as well several nieces and nephews.
She also leaves behind a legacy that includes the lives of so many that she touched, from her colleagues , students , friends and associates. To know Jerrie was to know human kindness and compassion at its best.
A memorial service will be organized and held at a later date, Memorial contributions may be graciously made in her honor to Groton Fire Dept. Ambulance Fund , PO Box 96, Groton, NY 13073. In times of tragedy these volunteers and community members demonstrate the best of this small town. Please leave condolences to her guest book at www.zirbelfuneralhome.com