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Gertrude Schilling, a life-long resident of the Wausau area, passed away November 11, at the Masonic Home in Bloomington, MN, at age 93. She died of natural causes.
"Gertie", as she was known to friends and family, was born on July 2, 1919, as Gertrude Liebers at the farm home of her parents in Town of Texas, the tenth of eleven children. She grew up on the family dairy farm and graduated from the local one-room country school. She left the farm when she met and married her husband, Elder, in 1935. They began their family in the midst of the Depression, with the first of their three sons born in 1936.
In addition to raising her family and working at the Marathon Battery Works for more than 20 years, Gertie was a passionate craftsperson, sewing hundreds, if not thousands, of children's quilts, blankets, bibs, and stuffed toys for friends and neighbors. Known for her generous and forthright nature, she doted on the regular summer visits of her grandchildren, devising various "chores" to instill in them her personal mantra of "hard work is the secret of happiness." Perhaps the most infamous "chore" was clearing the neighborhood of unwanted gophers by offering a generous per-head bounty.
She also took full advantage of the frequent moves of her sons and their families, making a number of visits to Europe and both U.S. coasts and collecting fabrics and patterns for her sewing passion.
Gertrude was predeceased by her husband, Elder, in 1989, and is survived by her three sons, James (and wife, Lenore) in Chagrin Falls, OH; Gerald (and wife, Pat) in Bloomington, MN; and Wayne (and wife, Micky) in Brentwood, CA; plus eight grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Burial will be private.
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on Nov. 14, 2012