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Date of Passing: Nov 12, 2017

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GERTRUDE RUTH WOODBURY With merciful gentleness, Gertrude Ruth Woodbury passed away in her sleep in the early hours of November 12, 2017 at Lion's Manor on Sherbrook Street. Gertrude was born in Estevan, SK in 1928, the eldest child of Harry and Esther Hirt. Her first 16 years, spent in the rural community of Hirsch, SK, instilled in her a lifelong love of nature and the expansive freedom of a prairie landscape. Gertrude's extraordinary will and intelligence propelled her to the University of Manitoba where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English and Economics and met her beloved Jack Woodbury. After they married in 1951, they spent time in Ontario, where Jack studied and taught, finally returning to Winnipeg in the mid-1950s. Gertrude worked at different times as a teacher, a secretary, and a program coordinator with the YWCA. She was an enthusiastic and active member of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, coordinating local discussion groups and conferences on political issues of the day. In the late 1960s, Jack and Gertrude discovered camping and crisscrossed Canada in trailer or tent many times. Gertrude could whip up a sumptuous fireside dinner with the same ease as her "vintage" Sunday roast. The freedom of camping and the natural beauty she discovered in the wilderness led her to the creative pursuits of photography and painting, which occupied the balance of her life. Gertrude had a driving need to capture the essence of nature on paper and film and a substantial portfolio of work was the result. Many of her works now hang in the homes of her children and grandchild. Over the last 10 years, the thief, Alzheimer's disease, robbed her ever so gradually of her passions; painting, cooking, gardening, political debate, and finally, reading. But she remembered her family to the very end with an enduring wit that brought joy to our hearts with every visit. She was fiercely proud of her children, a rock amid the ever-changing tides of their lives. Her pride and support also enfolded her granddaughter Maia, in whom she saw a kindred spirit. She will be greatly missed. Her husband, John Charles Woodbury, predeceased Gertrude 10 months to the day, on January 12, 2017. Left to cherish her memory are her children David (Becky Barrett) and Jennifer (Steve Gouthro); granddaughter Maia Gyles (Geordie); great-grandchildren Theo and Jasper; sisters Goldie Minuk and Shirley Birnboim (Chaim); brother Mory Hirt (Hindy); sister-in-law Joan Rizi (Fabio); and numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank the compassionate and attentive staff at Lions Manor 2nd floor, particularly Patrick and Arlo, who were very special to Gertrude. Cremation has taken place and Gertrude has asked that there be no memorial service. Instead, remember her by giving a donation to Alzheimer Society of Canada or the Winnipeg Humane Society.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 18, 2017

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • My deepest sympathies to David and the rest of the family on the loss of your mother and belated sympathies on the loss of your father. - Posted by: Shirley Geller (Friend of David’s and former student of Jack Woodbury) on: Nov 19, 2017

  • Sincere condolences to David and Becky on the loss of David's mother. We are thinking of you at this difficult time. - Posted by: Susan Hart-Kulbaba (friend) on: Nov 18, 2017

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