Thursday, March 21, 2013

Gertrude 'Trudy' K. (Kagy) Gibson

Trudy Gibson, age 93, passed away peacefully on March 21, 2013, following a stroke.

Trudy was born on September 21, 1919, in Tiffin, Ohio, to Benjamin R. and Florence (nee. Clarke) Kagy. Her early days were spent in Salem, IL, with summers at the family home at Lake Geneva. In 1931, she moved to Oak Park, IL. She graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School. In 1942, she graduated from Northern Illinois College in DeKalb with a degree in Home Economics. She taught five years in Morrison, IL.

On January 22, 1947, Trudy married Thomas B. Gilhooley in Oak Park. They moved to Racine and made their home on Lake Avenue where they loved the beauty of Lake Michigan, sunrises and full moons. Mr. Gilhooley died on February 2, 1966. Trudy taught for ten years at Horlick High School, retiring at age 50.

On November 24, 1984, Trudy married Granville R. Gibson. He died on July 15, 1985.

Trudy was a 64-year member of First Presbyterian Church where she served terms as Clerk of Session, Deacon and Elder. She was a devoted member of the Intercessory Prayer Ministry. She also faithfully studied the teachings of Unity School of Christianity for more than 60 years. She was always open to new ideas and learning a new way of doing things. Trudy was a woman of deep faith and she radiated peace and love.

Trudy was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for 67 years and was a charter member of Chapter AZ, Racine.

In 1996, Trudy moved to Lake Oaks where she formed many new friendships. She had a lifelong love of gardening and she cultivated beautiful gardens on the Lake Oaks grounds. She became known as “The Pansy Lady” because she delivered small cups of fresh flowers to each resident at Lake Oaks. Even at age 92, she loaded flowers onto her walker and slowly made her way to each apartment during the course of the summer to bring a little beauty and joy to others.

Trudy was a welcoming and gracious hostess. She loved to entertain and many people will remember festive times around her table. Hospitality was always important to her and she made sure everyone felt included and valued.

Trudy had a curious mind and loved to travel throughout the world. One memorable trip was to the Holy Land where, among other things, she rode a camel. She had an adventurous spirit and was always up for a challenge such as climbing hundreds of steps to the top window of Chillon Castle located at the foot of the Alps in Switzerland when she was 85.

Trudy lived graciously and gratefully. She kept a gratitude journal for many years and recorded the blessings of each day. She was a people-person, naturally friendly and always interested in helping others. She generously gave to many people and causes, often anonymously.

Trudy will be deeply missed by her children, Georgia (Jim) Hall and Dan Gilhooley (Patricia St. Onge); her grandchildren, Jennifer Lauer and Cameron Clarke Gilhooley; her stepson, Tom (Carol) Gibson and stepdaughter, Fran (Bill) Zimmermann. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Evelyn Gilhooley; cousins Ann (Bill) Owen, Wendy Owen (Greg Wolski), Tracy Owen Emayan; special friends Ruth Foley, Evelyn Covell, Hilda Ayers, Margaret Rash, Evelyn Gayhart; and her neighbor, Joyce Wagner, whose daily assistance made it possible for Trudy to avoid moving to assisted living.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 30, at 10:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Ave., with Rev. Ben Johnston-Krase and Rev. Steve Fringer officiating. Visitation at the church will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. until time of service. Private interment at West Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church or Health Care Network.

Special thanks to Dr. Paige Rackliffe, the Wheaton-Franciscan ER staff and Third Floor Nurses for their kind and compassionate care of Trudy and her family.

803 Main St., Racine (262) 634-7888

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