Gertrude Hamstreet


Gertrude Hamstreet Obituary
After a long and amazing life, Gertrude and Roger are now reunited and "Together Forever."
Gertrude Hamstreet passed away on April 7, 2014, at age 96. The middle child of three, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Christ and Tyra Lindseen Christianson (immigrants of Danish and Swedish descent respectively), she attended schools in the Minneapolis area and while attending Roosevelt High School met Roger George Hamstreet, the "love of her life," at a dance.
Gertrude married Roger, (he called her "his little lady") in November of 1935. She and Roger worked at various jobs for four years while he attended the University of Minnesota. Upon his graduation they moved to western Minnesota where Roger taught Vocational Agriculture. There they started their family of four children: Judith, Robert, Roger, and Susan.
During the war years they lived in Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. Ultimately, they moved 17 times in 21 years until they settled in Arvin, California, in 1953. She always said she could have packed in her sleep.
In Arvin, Gertrude was a Cub Scout leader; participated in PTA and DeMolay Mothers, taught Sunday School, worked with the Women's Fellowship at Arvin Union Congregational Church; was active in the Arvin High School Faculty Wives' Club, was a member of the Eastern Star, Kappa Kappa Iota sorority, and was pleased to have worked for the 1959 USDA Census of Agriculture.
Later Gertrude attended Bakersfield College, Fresno State Extension, and California State University, Bakersfield and received her teaching credential in 1968. She taught second grade at Sierra Vista Elementary School in Arvin for nine years until retiring in 1977. At a time when conformity was expected, she made a splash and had her entire classroom painted in vivid primary colors to enhance the learning experience for the children. Teaching was truly her calling.
In 1972 Gertrude and Roger moved to Bakersfield where they resided in Kern City for 36 years. They became members of the First United Methodist Church where she participated in the Women's Fellowship. She enjoyed living at Rosewood Retirement Community for the past five years.
Gertrude was a master planner, financial wizard, expert organizer, landlord, hard worker and she was known for her fantastic memory and creativity. She was blessed with patience and an understanding heart. Gertrude loved to cook, sew, garden, and most of all play bridge (she was a Life Master). She enjoyed decorating for the holidays (Halloween was her favorite), trips to casinos, dancing, and she loved clowns. She always had a desire to write children's stories.
Gertrude and Roger loved to travel and travel they did. They logged tens of thousands of miles on road trips throughout the United States and Canada (visiting every state in the union), flew their private airplane cross country, attended several Elderhostels, took numerous cruises to all parts of the world, participated in many foreign tours, and even went on a safari.
Gertrude said her greatest blessings were her wonderful husband, 4 loving children, 7 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great grandchildren, and so many wonderful friends.
Gertrude and Roger were married 68 years before he passed away in 2004. She will remain forever in the memory of her children and spouses, Judith Hamstreet and Bob Campbell of Prescott Valley, Arizona; Robert and Arlene Hamstreet of Bakersfield, California; Roger and Bonnie Hamstreet of Wellington, Florida; Susan and Ed Eldridge of Bakersfield, California; grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and her many friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church or to .
Celebration of Gertrude's life will be held at Rosewood Retirement Community, 1301 New Stine Road, Bakersfield CA on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm in the Activities Building.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Apr. 9, 2014
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