In Memory of





Obituary for Germaine Burkes "Gerry" McClanahan

Germaine Burkes “Gerry” McClanahan, of Salem, VA, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 12, 2023. She was born on November 13, 1930, to the late Stella Artrip Burkes and Dr. William Germaine Burkes in Grundy, VA. She graduated from Stuart Hall High School in Stanton, VA, then attended the College of William and Mary. While at W&M she became an active member of the Alpha Chi sorority. Gerry married the late Dr. Robert “Bob” McClanahan, Jr., in June of 1952. Upon his graduation from MCV in Richmond in 1958, they moved to Salem, VA to raise their family and set up Bob’s dental practice. Gerry loved Salem and she was always so thankful for the small-town atmosphere and the love of its people. The McClanahan family became members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem, where she served faithfully in many roles. Gerry was a lifetime member of the Salem Garden Club, where she held various offices. She also enjoyed playing Bridge, attending VA Tech football and basketball events, getting together with other “dental wives”, and supporting her children and grandchildren in their activities. She was loved by many and always a good friend. In addition to her parents and husband, she is preceded in death by her sister, Willie Ann Burkes Hughes in 2012.

Left to cherish her memory include her three children, Beth Ledwith (Kevin), Robert McClanahan, III, and Meg Robertson; grandchildren, Andrew, Brian (Jess), Casey, Sarah, Will, Michael (Lindsey), Alex, and Isaac; great-granddaughters, Nora and Harper Ledwith.

Friends may visit with the family from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 2, 2023, at the John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home in Salem, VA.

Her life will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 42 E. Main St., Salem, VA 24153, with Rev. James Hubbard and Rev. Bob Copenhaver officiating.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to either St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at the address above or a charity of your choice in her honor.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at