Massachusetts Knights of Columbus State Deputy William Donovan of Walpole presents 2010 Lantern Award to Geraldine Stadelman of Brockton as her husband, William, looks on. Stadelmann survived the terrorist attack at a Mumbai, India hotel by praying the rosary. Pilot photo/ Courtesy Maureen Hancock
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BRAINTREE -- Geraldine Stadelmann, a Brockton resident who witnessed to her faith while staying at the Taj Mahal Hotel the day it was attacked by terrorists, was recently recognized by the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus State Council with the organization’s 54th annual Lantern Award.
“We feel that Geraldine H. Stadelmann epitomizes the principles of our beloved order,” the award proclamation read in part.
The award presented at the 110th annual Patriots’ Day Dinner on April 19 is the highest honor the state council bestows and recognizes those who display faith in their lives. Recipients have been women and men who are public leaders in fields like politics, religion, medicine, education, law, military, and sports. A 2005 Pilot story reported that the first Lantern Award was given in 1957 to J. Edgar Hoover, the late director of the FBI.
Stadelmann’s Taj Mahal Hotel experience, and how her faith allowed her to cope with the attacks, were chronicled in a front-page Pilot story in the Dec. 5, 2008 edition. According to the article, she and her husband William, stayed under their bed for nearly 15 hours as gunmen moved through the hotel. While under the bed, she was using her knuckles to pray the rosary because she did not want to go to her travel bags to get rosary beads. Meanwhile, her husband was using his laptop to contact family and friends back home.
Stadelmann was born in Brockton, the eldest of four children. She graduated from Brockton High School before working at a local bank. She married William, her childhood sweetheart and fellow parishioner at St. Edward Parish in Brockton, in 1963. She and her husband raised five children and ran an electrical contracting business.