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Gertrude Horak

1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Gertrude Horak Obituary
Horak, Gertrude Peterson

Mrs. Gertrude Peterson Horak, age 95 of Albuquerque, NM passed away Sunday, December 11, 2016 due to complications following a stroke. She was born December 23, 1920 in Walworth County, WI, the daughter of the late Eric August Emanuel Peterson and Clara Johansson Peterson. She attended public school in Williams Bay and during World War 2 worked at the Elgin Watch Factory. After the war, she was a "computer" at Yerkes Observatory, operating a Marchant calculator to carry out astronomical calculations for the likes of Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. There she met her future husband, the late Henry George Horak. They were married in Williams Bay April 22, 1948 and had three sons. They moved to Lawrence, KS where she raised the family and was busy with community, school, church, and gardening projects. In 1967 they relocated to Los Alamos, NM and she kept up the same activities, becoming a long-term member of the Cooperative Extension Association of New Mexico and taking part in their meetings in Las Cruces each year. She and Henry enjoyed birdwatching and traveled widely in their RV named 'Lek Stuga', Swedish for 'playhouse'. One of their most memorable trips was with her sister, Shirley, when they flew to Sweden to connect with Gertrude's relatives. In 2008 Gertrude and Henry moved to Albuquerque, where she soon took a fondness to high tea at the St. James Tearoom, trips to the Botanical Garden, and birdwatching at the Rio Grande Nature Center.

Gertrude is preceded in death by two of her sisters, Lorraine "Pete" Kahl and Mildred Anderson; as well as Gertrude's son, Henry Louis Horak. She is survived by her youngest sister, Shirley Jacobsen of Walworth, WI; two of her sons and their wives, Karl Horak and Carolyn Beaty of Albuquerque, NM and Paul Horak and Marcia Cassidy of Norwich, VT; as well as her daughter-in-law, Kathleen Ramsay of Chamita, NM. She is also survived by three grandsons, Peter Tyrone Horak, Peter Cassidy Horak, and David Cassidy Horak; as well as a number of cousins, nephews and nieces.

A Memorial Service will be held in early summer when Gertrude will be buried next to her beloved Henry at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. The family wishes to especially thank Susan Stiff, Shelley Bauer, and the staff at the Woodmark for the tender care they provided to Gertrude during the past eight years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in honor of Gertrude and Henry Horak to the Alzheimer's Foundation. Please visit our online guestbook for Mrs. Horak at

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Dec. 18, 2016
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