I had the good fortune to be one of Sister Gertrude Mary's students at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Newburg. She was my Junior Year (1960-1961) homeroom teacher and chemistry teacher. One day in lab, Sister smelled something burning and then realized that it was MY hair which had caught fire from the Bunsen burner. Sister calmly came over, slapped my hair and extinguished the fire. With the trademark twinkle in her eye, she asked the class to be more careful in the future. I wonder how many other students she saved in her classes!
I have another memory of her leading the procession for the Funeral Mass for Sr. Mary Francis McDonald, O.P (a cousin) carrying the Dominican banner while wearing the Dominican habit - a true inspiration and reminder of her faithfulness to her calling. (By then Sister was one of the few Dominicans who continued to wear her habit daily.)
Sister organized the Mount Saint Mary Academy/High School Alumni Association and I currently have the honor of serving as its President. Every time the older alum get together some one asks, "How is Sr. Gertrude Mary?". She affected so many lives and we are grateful that she now sees her Savior face to face and is enjoying her eternal reward for a life well lived. May we all try to use her faithfulness as a model for our own.