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Gerald Louis Ciota

May 25, 1936 — May 28, 2024

Johns Island

Gerald Louis Ciota

South Carolina - Gerald Louis Ciota died Tuesday, May 28, 2024 at his home in Johns Island. He was 88 years old.

He is survived by his son Michael and Michael's wife Tifany, his daughter Andrea and Andrea's husband Harvey Hines, his sister-in-law Dorothy, his grandson Austin along with many cousins and friends.

Jerry was born and raised in Albany, New York and is the son of Vincent and Marie Ciota. He lived in New England for decades but eventually tired of the cold, moving south to Georgia, then Florida - eventually settling in South Carolina.

After graduating high school, Jerry enrolled in the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in June 1958. He served four years in the National Guard in New York, where he started his career before moving to Massachusetts with his family. 

After spending 35+ years working for IBM in various capacities, Jerry followed his muse into the hospitality field. After relocating to the southeast US, he managed food, beverage, and event operations for a number of companies and resorts. He always had this interest, and even while working for IBM, he would book and personally cater outdoor group events. Michael's first job (at about 10) was helping to man the grille at one such gathering, where he earned the (then) princely sum of $27 for the day's work. Jerry also put his hospitality skills to good use when helping plan Andrea's wedding in 1997 in Sandestin, Florida.

Jerry loved sports, and was a big baseball fan from a young age. He was enthusiastic about Michael's "career" in Little League, but also supported his son's fishing obsession and Andrea's pursuits as a majorette (and, much later, tennis player). An avid softball player during his first seven decades, he eventually switched to tennis with the same fervor and played in his first tennis tournament at age 71. As he got older, the slightly smaller court and slower pace of pickleball beckoned. He also had a great love of cars and was particularly proud of his first Ford Mustang, his Pontiac Firebird, and his last Ford Mustang. He passed this interest along to his son and grandson.

Life in South Carolina proceeded at a pleasing pace. Jerry spent his time watching tennis matches, learning and playing the relatively new sport of pickleball, hanging out with his friends at McDonalds, working as a page at the Johns Island Public Library, and singing in the choir at the Church of the Nativity. He also took great pride in his yard and spent considerable time on maintenance and improvements. His neighbors counted on him for a kind word and a welcoming wave. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will occur on Tuesday, June 18 at 11:00am, followed by an 11:30am funeral mass, at Church of the Nativity on James Island, with a 1:00pm internment at Holy Cross Cemetery on James Island. The service will be live streamed at:

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

the Nativity School of Johns Island
the Lowcountry Food Bank of Charleston .
To order memorial trees in memory of Gerald Louis Ciota, please visit our tree store.


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