Mary Louise (Smieding) Gerretson

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HEATHSVILLE, VA - “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a Ride!’” (Hunter S. Thompson) Louise Gerretson, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and best friend, died at her home in Heathsville, VA on March 15, 2014 at the age of 98 1/2. Born in Racine, WI on July 22, 1915, Louise was in the 1st graduating class of Washington Park High School in 1933 where she was the executive editor of the Park Beacon in her senior year. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Journalism Society and was awarded a scholarship from the American Association of University Women. Louise attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she majored in Journalism and was on the staff of The Daily Cardinal. It was at the University where she met the love of her life, Frederick (Fred) William Gerretson, to whom she was happily married for 74½ years. Louise spent her career at the US Naval Institute in Annapolis, MD as a technical book editor. She lived with Fred in a beautiful home they built on the water, where she raised her three children, Frederick D. Gerretson, Mark R. Gerretson and Lisa D. Gerretson (McGrath). She is survived by her three children, five grandchildren Adrian Gerretson, Niles Gerretson, Garrett McGrath, Laura McGrath and Anna Gerretson and her sister, Grace Smieding of Racine, WI. A celebration of her life will be held in Heathsville, VA and interment, at a later date, next to her husband Cdr. Frederick William Gerretson, at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

Published in Racine Journal Times on Mar. 23, 2014
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