Obituary: Geraldine “Gerry” Machovec – Aug. 14, 2020


Geraldine “Gerry” Machovec, 96, passed away on August 14, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.

Gerry was born in 1924 in a mining town in Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. She was an avid photographer. Gerry’s interest in photography began in 1939 when her father gave her one of Eastman Kodak’s first 35mm cameras. Photography remained a lifetime love.

She was raised in Duluth, Minnesota. Gerry lived in many places, including Illinois, Venezuela, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, New Mexico, and Colorado. She loved the Land of Enchantment; her home for almost 50 years.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Carleton College in 1946 where she was an assistant photographer for the college yearbook, editor of her dormitory newspaper, and on the staff of The Carletonian newspaper. She completed a semester at the University of Mexico in 1945 and attended the Latin-American Institute in Chicago during 1947-48 while working in the Society for Visual Education’s Kodachrome Department. With her bilingual skills well developed, she moved to Caracas, Venezuela where she worked for Liquid Carbonic Venezolana.

After that, her photography now had a Venezuelan twist, but quickly turned to “family” after she and Charles “Mac” Machovec married and had their three children before moving to Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1957.

In Los Alamos, she turned her love of photography and writing into a job as a reporter and photographer for the Rio Grande Sun newspaper in Espan͂ola, New Mexico. Gerry said, “Taking photos for the Rio Grande Sun and spending hours in the darkroom developing black and whites from my twin-lens Rollei was fun, not work.” During her seven years as a reporter, Gerry received two E.H. Shaffer awards from the New Mexico Press Association statewide contests: first prize in the feature writing division and second prize for straight news writing.

Her career as a reporter ended prematurely following an auto mishap and arm injury while en route to Guatemala in 1967 with the family in a Volkswagen Microbus camper. Fortunately, Bob Trapp, the editor and publisher of the Rio Grande Sun, opened the Hilltop Print Shop and Book Store in Los Alamos and invited Gerry to manage it. She went on to work at Ojo de Dios Books in Los Alamos before moving to Miami, Florida in 1975 to join Mac, who had taken a new job as an associate professor with the library at the University of Miami.

Next came the Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs at the University of Miami, where Gerry was first editorial assistant, then assistant editor. She managed to find a way to fit her love of photography into the job by taking P.R. shots for the Center for Advanced International Studies. That and trips throughout the Caribbean, Central America, and South America with Mac were a photographic dream. She helped author Beverly Rush do research for The Complete Book of Seminole Patchwork, which was published in 1982. Gerry’s photographs appear in the book.

Upon retirement from the University of Miami, Gerry and Mac returned to Los Alamos and then moved to Santa Fe following the 2000 Cerro Grande wildfire. Gerry enjoyed traveling with Mac and exhibiting her photographs.

In 2018, Gerry moved to the Suites at Clermont Park in Denver, Colorado where she passed away peacefully in 2020.