Obituary of Adrienne Gerbrands
Adrienne “Cookie” Gerbrands, a much-loved retired elementary school teacher in Burlington, passed away after an extended illness on Tuesday December 12, 2023. She was 82 years old. Adrienne was born in Boston. She was the daughter of the late Victor & Sarah Rossetti. She grew up in Belmont and was a graduate of Belmont High School. She furthered her education earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Framingham State College.
Over her 30+ years as an educator, Adrienne taught in the Burlington Public School System at Fox Hill, Memorial, Meadowbrook and Pine Glen Elementary Schools. She was a second grade teacher, kindergarten instructional assistant, and a tutor. She was also co-president of the instructional assistant union. She simply loved children. As a teacher, she was able to help her students make sense of the world, gave them the structure and order they craved, and most importantly, made learning fun.
Adrienne met her future husband, Vinnie Gerbrands, on White Horse Beach in Plymouth and their romance blossomed. Vinnie proposed to her when he was still in the Navy during the Vietnam War. The couple were married in 1963 and settled in Vinnie’s hometown of Burlington in 1966. She loved being a part of Burlington, raising her three sons, and seeing her current and past students and their parents and siblings around town during her daily life. She was a longtime elected Town Meeting member, voting on budgets and warrant items that she thought were best in improving the infrastructure and quality of life in Burlington. She was always willing to lend a helpful hand for political candidates she believed in. She also supported her husband Vinnie’s interests which included being a member of the Burlington Civil Defense, Ways and Means Committee, youth soccer coach, and a member of Arlington Catholic’s School Board.
Family was everything to Adrienne. In 1976, she and Vinnie purchased their second home in Burlington which was only a 100 yards away from her parents. This prime location gave their children the opportunity to have a close relationship with their grandparents and the ability to assist her parents in their later years. To continue the tradition of family as neighbors, her son Mark, was able to purchase his grandparents' home. His children had a similar experience of the close bond that comes from living 100 yards from their grandparents, visiting after school, swimming in their pool, and sharing wonderful memories together. Adrienne and Vinnie enjoyed spending summer vacations with their family, at Mayflower Beach, Cape Cod.
When her boys had grown, it was Vinnie and Adrienne’s time to see the world. They took over 16 cruises, some with their entire family. Destinations included the Caribbean, Bermuda, Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Monaco, Sicily, Amsterdam, and Hawaii. Adrienne loved traveling, shopping, dressing up, and enjoying the luxuries of the cruising experience.
Adrienne was the beloved wife of the late Vincent “Vinnie” Gerbrands. She was the loving mother of Mark Gerbrands of Burlington & his wife Laura (Agostino), Eric Gerbrands of Seattle WA, and the late Keith Gerbrands. She was the proud and loving grandmother of Victoria, Grace and Nickolas Gerbrands, Matthew and Sarah Tierney. She was the sister of Loretta Rossetti of Hudson. She was the sister-in-law of Carl & Susan Gerbrands of Burlington, and the late Paul & late Joanne Gerbrands. She is survived by many cousins.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON on Saturday, December 16 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Malachy’s Church, in St. Veronica Parish, www.stveronicama.org, 99 Bedford St., Burlington at 11:30 am. Services will conclude with a burial in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Adrienne’s name may be made to Wee Care, Burlington, www.weecare4kids.org, 10 St. Marks Road, Burlington, MA 01803. For directions, obituary & online guestbook see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050