Gerson A. Colón, age 51, a resident of Dracut, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2023 after a courageous battle with peritoneal cancer.
He was born in Kenosha, WI on February 22, 1971 to Perfecto and Lydia (Cartagena) Colón Gonzalez of Longmeadow, MA.
His primary education was in Springfield Massachusetts. He was a graduate of Central High School. He received his Bachelor's degree from Fitchburg State University and his Masters degree in Education Administration from Cambridge College.
Gerson had a great sense of adventure and the outdoors. He loved to fish, hike, and snowboard. He was a snowboard instructor for a time at Mount Snow in Vermont. He enjoyed sharing his love for this sport with his students throughout the years. Gerson loved to be by the ocean. He enjoyed going on fishing trips with friends, surfing, swimming and jumping in the waves with his children. He spent much of his free time traveling up to Maine to spend time at the beach with family and friends. We have many special memories at Camp Eaton in York Beach Maine as well as Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Most recently, he had a trip to Vinalhaven with two former students, Wilson Boone and Steven Ruff. That trip to the ocean brought so much healing and joy to his soul.
Gerson's greatest passion, outside of teaching, was cooking for his family and friends. He was a master at the grill, turkey fryer and even had a cooking show on a local cable station for a period of time. He worked at several restaurants throughout the years just for pure enjoyment. Russells in Springfield, Cana Korean Restaurant, and Owen and Ollies are a few of the restaurants. He brought us all joy with many of his signature dishes leaving behind a messy kitchen which often took days to clean but we were happy to do so.
Giving back to his community was very important to him. He served his community as an educator and in various community service projects. He believed Martin Luther King's words "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve". He instilled this belief in his children and taught it in the classroom. Gerson served on the board of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank and the Emancipation Project for a period of time. Some of the projects he participated in were with Hope World Wide, MLK Day of Service, American Red Cross Fire Safety and several food and clothing drives to name a few.
Gerson served in education for several school districts in Massachusetts as an Assistant Principal and a teacher. He loved his students and took a genuine interest in their lives. He taught them to take pride in themselves, to be curious and explore the world. He instilled a love of knowledge, reading, justice and pride of their culture. He told them to teach people to pronounce their names properly and not to "Americanize" their names. He taught them to love themselves, believe in themselves and take a stand for what they believe in. Gerson made a difference in many lives. It has been a blessing for him to hear from so many former students throughout his battle with cancer. Students, you made a difference in his life as well. He served the communities of Springfield MA, Lawrence MA, Amherst MA, Framingham MA, Fitchburg MA and most recently Lowell MA at Lowell High School.
In addition to his loving parents, Gerson is survived by his children, Lydia, Natalie, Matthew, and Jacob Colón, from Dracut, MA; also among his children is Justin Polynice of Atlanta GA, who was not his biological son, but was 100% his son in heart; his sister, Ida Colón Perez, her husband Rene, and daughter Isabella, from Longmeadow, MA; his brother, Giezi Colón, his beloved Jessy Rojas, and daughter Nina, from Connecticut; and a very large community of extended family and friends.
He also leaves behind to cherish his memory, his best friend and biggest cheerleader Kristen Coburn; through Kristen, Gerson met her husband Geoff and his children Zander, Mimi, Maggie and Grace, who with Kristen, considered family. Gerson also loved dearly his Irish grandmother, Janice Holmes Colón.
Gerson was grateful for the support he received from Lowell General's Cancer Center, Tufts Medical Center, and High Pointe Hospice. He also received spiritual support from several members of the Church of Christ that were long time friends and who he considered family. He was especially grateful to the Dream Foundation, Making Memories Foundation and Genentech who granted Gerson's dream to take his children to Florida for Christmas vacation. He was able to have one last family vacation with his children that they will cherish always.
Our family greatly appreciates the love, comfort and care Gerson received from Kristen and Geoff over the past year. There aren't enough lifetimes to express the family's overwhelming gratitude.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, January 24th from 5pm to 8pm at the DRACUT FUNERAL HOME, 2159 Lakeview Ave., DRACUT. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank by visiting www.mvfb.org.