Gertrude (Gert) T. Hunter was born in Christiana Township in rural Jackson County, Minnesota on February 26, 1915, the second of four children of Alfred and Lena Johnson. She was baptized at an early age and later confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church near Bergen, Minnesota. Her early education was in a one-room schoolhouse, and in 1934 graduated from Jackson High School Jackson, MN.
Gert was united in marriage to Willis (Biddy) A. Elness in Hollywood, California on July 10, 1937. After two fun filled years in California, the couple decided to move home to Windom. Together they built a successful business (Biddy's Sales and Service), were blest with 3 children, and had 23 years together until Biddy's untimely death in 1960. At the age of 45, with one son in college and two children yet at home, she went to work for the Windom School District in the lunch program where she retired in 1981 after 20 years.
On September 29, 1972 she was united in marriage to Robert (Bob) H. Hunter also of Windom and together they had 32 great years of enjoying each other's families, their home, and their many road trips.
She loved her church and was always proud that she was a charter member. Over the years she enjoyed a variety of activities such as Cradle Roll, Bible School, Sunday Night Pot Luck dinners but in her later years it was Lady's Aid and the many circles she was a part of. She also enjoyed her Birthday Club of close friends for over 50 years. She loved sports and would never miss an event that any of her family was in. In fact, she could be seen climbing the bleachers in her 80's to watch her great nephews play baseball. Gert was a proud Norwegian! A proud Democrat! And a proud Windomite! She always remained infatuated with California, always loved the Johnson Christmas traditions, and always stayed positive about life! She was always strong and gave credit to love of family and the power of prayer.
Gert was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife and mother. But without a doubt, her greatest pride and joy came from her 3 children and her 6 grandsons. And for all those who knew her, she will long be remembered for "her love of feeding everyone". Always having plenty of hot dish or ham loaf, potato salad, red jello, cake with strawberries, cookies and of course, the coffee pot was always on.
We as her children and grandchildren are grateful to have had her present in our lives for so many years. Richard and Debbie Elness, Windom; Susan and David Clark, Lee's Summit, MO; Jean Elness Brooklyn Park, MN; Tim and Cathy Elness - Mike and Christy Elness both of Mpls. - Nick Elness, Mpls., Nathan Elness, Mankato, MN - Adam and Beth Clark, Lee's Summit, MO - Andrew Clark, New York City; And Gert had 8 great grandchildren Benjamin, Grace, Lily, and Gabriella Elness - Addison, Delaney, Charlie, and Henry Clark. Many nieces and nephews as well as family friends, Don Davis, Jack and Marilyn Kelly. Stepchildren; Rosalie and Don Rippie, Albuquerque, NM - Richard and Paula Hunter - Morrilton, AR - Marian Hunter , Tacoma, WA - Jeanette and Steve Baker , Bemidji, MN - Raymond and Karla Hunter, LaLuz, NM; 13 step grandchildren, 30 great step-grandchildren and 1 great-great-step grandchild.
Preceding her in death: her parents - both husbands Biddy and Bob - her oldest son Arvid - her daughter-in-law Phyllis - both brothers and wives, Kermit and Sylvia Johnson and Jerome (Spike) and Mollie Johnson, - sister and husband Avis and Palmer Kulseth and half-sister and husband Alice and Lloyd Sogge.
Gert had moved to Lee's Summit, MO 4 years ago to be near her daughter and family. Most of those 4 years she was able to enjoy living in her own apartment at the John Knox Village Assisted Living. In May of this year, we moved her to the Care Center under Hospice care and at the time of her death, Gert was 96 1/2 (as the great grandkids would say). Most recently, she would pack some of her favorite things and wait for the bus to take her home. She is now home. God Bless the memory of Gertrude Hunter.
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To the Elness family, My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you at this time. Gert was a wonderful lady and will be missed by all who knew her. Rich and Sue, it is hard to lose mom but the memories will linger and hel... more
Susan & Rich: It is sad to hear that one of my closest friends is gone. Your mother and I had alot of wonderful times together. We went to many Basketball games and even the state tournie. Gert always drove. I am think... more
I used to watch Bob for Gert when she went to circle or other event, always made sure there was enough for us to eat, and so thankful. They were wonderful people. God bless them and their family.
My condolences to the Elness's and Hunter family: I remember Gert from the lunch program at the school back in the late 60's till I graduated in 81 and to present day. She was a very fine and proper lady, she gave all th... more
Elness and Hunter families...you have our sympathy at this time.....
To the family My sympathy to all I didnt know her personally all the years I worked at Pamida Iremember her she was one of those customers that was such a pleasure to help. she was allways cheerful and kind.