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  • "Jim Your mother was a kind and gracious lady. She will be..."
    - Richard Wheeler
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GILDEA MARY G. GILDEA Mary Gertrude Gildea, beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, and friend, born November 17, 1916, died peacefully in Norfolk, November 29, 2012, after suffering a stroke. Oldest of 14 children born to her father, Mary Gertrude often reflected on her deep love for her mother, Mary Frances Boucher Stoker and her untimely death when Mary Gertrude was 14. During her life, she kept dear and very close her relationship with her father, Gardner Mark Stoker, who died in 1978. Mary Gertrude was born and baptized in Johnstown, PA. In her youth she lived there, then in Southwest Virginia, Philadelphia, and Beaverdale, PA before moving to Washington, DC at age 18 to make her way. She married James Edward Gildea in 1939 and they made their life together initially in Washington and then for an extended number of years in Arlington, VA with some winters spent in Vero Beach, FL. Her beloved husband, who became her lifelong helpmate, predeceased her in 2000. After 64 years in Arlington, Mary Gertrude moved to Norfolk in 2006 to be near her son and daughter-in-law. In Norfolk, she was a charter resident of the Harbor's Edge Retirement Community a home which well matched her sense of style and decorum. Mary Gertrude's time in Norfolk was relatively brief but she enjoyed the many friends and acquaintances she made at Harbor's Edge and as a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She was deeply appreciative of the many services she was provided by the caring staff at Harbor's Edge and the supplemental care provided by Seniorcorp staff near the end. Mary Gertrude lived her many-faceted life with a unique blend of enthusiasm, energy, determination and graciousness. Her mother and father, her husband, her siblings and her son and his family were incredibly important to her. She always looked for ways and opportunities to support them. It is difficult to select any single overriding priority among the many Mary Gertrude pursued avidly at different stages in her long, full life: working for the Federal Government before her son was born and later for various lawyers; investing in financial markets and real estate; golf; duplicate bridge; painting of still life and seashore scenes and the creation of tile mosaics; European travel, history and culture; dancing; gardening; woman's clubs officer and member; and, faithful Church member. The professionals Mary Gertrude dealt with and respected and enjoyed, and the friends whom she enjoyed past and present, are too numerous to call out but those still with us know who you are. Mary Gertrude is survived by her son Jim and her daughter-in-law, Anne; her beloved grandchildren Sarah and James, her eight surviving brothers and sisters (Norman Stoker, Martha Kirkpatrick, Sarah Wiecjorek, Martin Stoker, Katherine Joyce, Helen Gallaher, Elizabeth Stoker, Gardner Stoker, and their respective families along with many other of her and her husband's relatives. She cherished them all. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations in her memory be made to the Social Ministry Program at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 520 Graydon Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23507 or to a . A Mass of the Resurrection will be offered at Sacred Heart Church at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 3, 2012 with Father Daniel Klem presiding. The family will receive friends in Murphy Funeral Home, 4510 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA , Wednesday, December 5, 2012 from the hours of 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., with a prayer service to follow, by Father Lee R. Roos. Mary Gertrude will be buried next to her husband Gil in Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington. H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Norfolk Chapel and Murphy's Funeral Home are handling arrangements in the respective cities. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Murphy Funeral Homes
4510 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 920-4800
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Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 2, 2012
Funeral Home Details
Arlington, VA   (703) 920-4800
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