The vivacious and fiercely strong Gerri Shakra succumbed to cancer on Jan. 7, 2024, after outliving her diagnosis for nearly two years.

Born May 11, 1934, she had a lifelong passion for cooking and baking. Her secret recipes were influenced by her Italian roots, her study of Syrian cuisine, and her culinary idols Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. She often recounted stories of her 30-year career in kitchens throughout New England, including Shaker Village, her own Anna’s Cafe in Bedford, New Hampshire, and the homes of her family and friends.

Retiring in Kennebunk, she could be found collecting seeds for her garden, walking the beach, or sipping a “cappy” at her local cafe.

She’s preceded in death by parents Anna and Ernest, brother Ernie, and son Michael Demers. She is survived by sister Marjorie, brother Allan, and six children who share her surname: Gary and fiancé Stacey Mitchell, Dianne, Nicholas and wife Emily, Timothy and wife Chris, Christine, and Lauri. She is also mourned by 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren who will forever remember her as their Sito.

There will be no services, but the family welcomes stories honoring Gerri and any hints about what was in those recipes.

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