Gertrude Elizabeth Curtis (Smith) is remembered for her fun-loving personality, warm smile and easy laughter. For 98 years, she danced to the rhythm of life, giving to her family and friends. Yahtzee was her claim to fame! Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy her favorite games.
Born March, 20, 1922 to Fannie H. VanInwegen and Albert C. Smith in Evanston, Illinois, she was the 11th of 12 children. Excelling in English, Latin and math, she graduated from Downers Grove High School, then worked at Continental Bank in Chicago where she met Albert Roy Curtis. They married on September 16, 1942.
Gert and Roy devoted their lives to raising five children in Naperville. When their youngest daughter was born with Down syndrome, they helped establish Little Friends, a community organization dedicated to children with cognitive disabilities.
Beginning in the 1970s, Gert worked passionately as a Nurses Aid at Edwards Hospital, a Secretary for DuPage County School District Association for Special Education, and Sales Rep at Julies Hall Mark. She enjoyed Creative Writing classes and international travel.
After Roy’s death in 2001, she continued to provide a welcoming home for her children, bonded with neighbors and sang in the “Dead Beats” funeral choir at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. In 2013, she relocated to Kalispell, MT to live with her son and his wife, and readily adapted to the mountains, fresh air and their loving care. Later she moved to Immanuel Lutheran Communities in Kalispell where she bonded with staff and enjoyed family visits.
Remembering Gert with love, affection, sadness and laughter are her children: Maria and her partner Eric Barney (Naperville), David and his wife Sharyn (Kalispell, MT), Mary Ann (Los Angeles), Melissa (Pocatello, ID), Mitzi and her partner Laura Moore (Minneapolis); and Gert’s grand children and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Gert and her family express deep gratitude to staff at Immanuel Lutheran Communities for their care until the end.
A memorial service will be held at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville at a future date. Donations in Gert’s name may be made to Little Friends, Inc. at www.littlefriendsinc.org or mailed to 140 N. Wright St., Naperville, Illinois, 60540. You may reach Gert’s family through Mary Ann Curtis at firstname.lastname@example.org
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