Geraldine Burgess McGovern

Fred Langan

Geraldine Burgess McGovern, always known to her friends and family as Jeri, was well known in the community, in particular for her popular dog training courses and her dog therapy work with children at Knowlton Academy.

Jeri Burgess was brought up in Verdun and moved here when she married Peter McGovern, a member of a well-known local family.

For many years she was a member of the St. Francis Kennel Club. She was involved in breeding rare breeds such as the Irish Water Spaniels and Neapolitan Mastiffs.

“My mother started with dog breeding and obedience and went on to do Zoo Therapy, that is, training an animal that will help people with anxiety or other disorders,” said her daughter Jacqueline McGovern. “She practiced this with children at Knowlton Academy and other schools.”

Many local people attended her dog training sessions in Knowlton, Cowansville and Mansonville. Jeri was a keen baker. “My mother especially liked chocolate. She would make goody bags and bring them with her when she went out,” said Jackie. “She was always ready to help her friends and anyone in trouble. She was just kind.”

Jeri lived in Knowlton for 37 years. She died suddenly when out for her birthday dinner with her family in Montreal. She is survived by her children, Jacqueline and Nicholas and three grandchildren, Hunter, Talia and Hennessy.