Geri M. Joseph

Joseph, Geri M. was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota on June 19th, 1923 died peacefully, with her family at her side at 100 years of age on October 16, 2023. Geri was a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Journalism in 1946. She was one of the first women to be hired as an editor of the university newspaper, The Minnesota Daily. She worked as a staff writer at the Minneapolis Tribune from 1946 to until March 1953. Specializing in health, education and welfare reporting she won five American Newspaper Guild Awards. In 1952 she was the first woman recipient of the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism for a series on Minnesota's mental hospitals. As a long-time activist in Democratic politics, Geri was a speechwriter for Hubert H. Humphrey's 1948 Minneapolis mayoral campaign and later worked on the 1956 presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson. Geri achieved prominence in the Democratic Party during the 1960s and 1970s and held offices in the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) and Democratic National Committee from 1960 to 1972. In 1978, Geri was named the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands where she served until 1981. Returning from the Netherlands, Geri did free-lance writing until 1984 when she joined the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. As a Senior Fellow, she had primary responsibility for several internationally-focused programs and also organized and directed the Mondale Policy Forum, which included a young leaders program. Geri retired from the Institute in November, 1994. Geri was a director on several local business and civic boards, including Northwestern National Bank (Wells Fargo), Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and Honeywell Corporation. Geri was also on the Board of Directors of the Hormel Foods Company for many years. She served on the Board of Carleton College, the German Marshall Fund, the Brookings Institute Task Force on the Middle East and co-chaired the Minnesota Attorney General's Task Force on Child Abuse. Geri was a founding member of the Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund. Geri was also a member of the Council of American Ambassadors, the Council on Foreign Relations and a former board member of the Minnesota International Center. Among her awards and honors are an Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota; an honorary Doctor of Laws from Bates College; an Award for Excellence from the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism; an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Macalester College; and an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Carleton College. Geri is preceded in death by her parents, Samuel S. and Edith E. Mack, husband, Burton M. Joseph and daughter, Shelley Joseph-Kordell. She is survived by her brother, Arvy Mack and sister Rossy Shaller; sons, Scott Joseph (Nancy Hamilton) and Jon Joseph (Dawn Felton); grandchildren, Jennifer Kordell (Tim Moran), Rachael Joseph (Matt Beversdorf), Andrew Joseph (Amarachi), Michael Joseph; great-grandchildren, Natalie, Julia, Alexander, Jonah, Hannah and Andrew. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Shelley Joseph-Kordell Memorial Scholarship to support undergraduates pursuing careers in aging services. Contributions may be sent to the University of Minnesota Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266; please mention the SJK Undergraduate Scholarship. Online gifts:… Gifts may also be made to Temple Israel, 2323 Fremont Ave S. Minneapolis MN 55405. Funeral service 1:00 PM THURSDAY October 19th at TEMPLE ISRAEL, 2323 Fremont Ave. S., Minneapolis. Funeral service available on zoom:… SHIVA 7:00 PM Thursday at Temple Israel. Hodroff-Epstein 612 871-1234