Gertrude M. O 'Connor passed is the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 at the Hanford Post Acute Facility. She was 100 years old.
Gertrude was born on March 29th, 1920 to Merle and Ira John in Fullerton, CA. She was later joined by a brother Earl (now deceased). She moved with her family to Dos Palos, CA where she graduated from Dos Palos High School. She worked part time at the local drug store. After high school, she moved to Fresno, CA where she attended Fresno State College and supported her school as a cheerleader. She also worked in a boarding house in exchange for room and board.
After going to college for two years, she and her roommate, Edie, packed up and moved to Oakland, CA. They both worked for an optometrist there in sales and as opticians. Oakland is where she met and married Seaman Lawrence J. O'Connor (Jerry- now deceased), who had been serving in the US Navy. When Jerry was transferred to Bremerton, WA, they left their young daughter, Gerry Ann (now deceased) with Gertrude's parents in Dos Palos.
San Diego, CA was their next transfer where Gertrude gave birth to daughter Patricia Lee (1948). They lived in Coronado base housing, across the bay from the base. Pearl Harbor, then part of the territory of Hawaii, was the next transfer. Gertrude was seasick the entire boat trip over on the Navy family transport. She later gave birth to son James Michael (now deceased) at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu.
Jerry's next transfer was back to the mainland, Monterey, CA. There they were close to Gertrude's family in Dos Palos and Merced. The last time Jerry was transferred was to Lemoore, CA. Gertrude said, “We're buying a house in Hanford”. She would stay with the kids and be just down the highway from her parents still in Dos Palos and her brothers family in Merced. This was in August of 1957. Thank heaven for air conditioning.
Gertrude kept busy while Jerry did his last tour of duty on the island of Guam. Gertrude joined a group of women who gifted welcome baskets to new residents of Hanford. It helped her learn her way around town. She was a Girl and Boy Scout leader. She worked part time as an optician for an optometrist that was the son of the optometrist that she worked for in Oakland. She worked part time at Brolene's Yardage, which proved helpful when she was making clothes for her and her daughters.
Gertrude was a member of the Hanford Emblem Club and was asked to serve as President. She and Jerry joined a social group called the Jolly Bunch. They danced many a Saturday night away. She loved to dance with him. They would break out dancing anywhere.
Gertrude is survived by her daughter Patricia (O'Connor) Rose (Elk Grove, CA), Patricia's daughters Rebecca Rose and Kim Rose (Sacramento, CA), Gertrude's son's daughters Kristie (O'Connor) Enriquez and Jennifer O'Connor (Tulare, CA), and Kristie's three daughters Alexandria, Isabelle, and Katelynn. Gertrude is survived by Ruthie John, the wife of Gertrude's departed brother Earl (Merced, CA), Ruthie's three daughters Judy, Diane, and Cynthia, and Ruthie's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Gertrude joins in death her husband Jerry, her daughter Gerry Ann, her son Michael, her parents, and her brother Earl.
There are no current plans for a formal service. Remembrances may be made in the form desired by those that loved her. Gertrude's cremated remains will join those of her departed husbands and sons in Grangeville Cemetery. To celebrate Gertrude and the town she loved, memorial contributions may be sent to local Hanford non-profit organizations.
Family and Friends are invited to view Gertrude's legacy at www.peoplesfuneralchapel.com and write condolences.
Services by People's Funeral Chapel
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