July 3, 1925 – November 14, 2013
Peacefully, with her family by her side Gertrud Gerke died on November 14 in the Palliative Care Unit at NRGH. Predeceased by her son Harald (1980) and her husband Gerhard (1988). She will be greatly missed by her children, Karin in Kamloops, Gerhard (Colleen)in Lantzville, and Doris (Donald) in Nanoose Bay. Super Omi to Stephanie Wells (Daniel) and Eleanor Wells in Switzerland, Graham Wells (Mary) in Campbell River, Stuart Wells in Kamloops; Jarrett Gerke (Sonja) in Nanaimo and Kyle Gerke (Shannon) in Lantzville; Malcolm Gerke-Johnson in Vancouver, Frederik Gerke-Johnson in Nanoose Bay and Kirsten Gerke-Johnson in Sweden. Proud great-grandmother to baby Linus in Basel, Switzerland. Also mourned by her brothers Heinrich Brase (Christel) in Parksville, Wilfried Brase (Harmine), Westerstede, Germany, her brother-in-law Harry Gerke (Gerda) in Montreal and numerous nieces and nephews.
Gertrud was born in Westerstede, Germany on July 3, 1925. She met her husband Gerhard in Stockholm, Sweden and married him in Montreal, Canada in 1953. After suffering through a few harsh winters, in 1959 they packed their Volkswagen van with a few of their belongings and two children and moved to Nanaimo. There they bought the property that would be their home and their business. Together Gertrud and Gerhard built Green Thumb Nurseries. The business started out modestly, raising chickens, selling eggs and strawberries to augment their income from landscaping and growing plants. Through years of perseverance and hard work the business grew to what it is today.
Gertrud loved to cook and bake and always welcomed people into her home. If you happened to be there at lunch you would be expected to sit down and enjoy the buffet. If you missed lunch there was always the afternoon coffee with fresh baked cakes and goodies. She enjoyed lively conversations and discussions on a variety of topics. Gertrud also loved to drive and could often be spotted driving her red Mercedes convertible. We will all miss her daily routine of driving through the nursery and visiting at the Nursery office.
The family wishes to thank the Doctors, Nurses and Staff of the fourth floor and the Palliative Care Unit at NRGH for their excellent and compassionate care.
Private service will be held in January.