Gertrude Willhite, 94Gertrude Emilia Jenkins Willhite, 94, passed away at Bethany Home in Alexandria on March 15, 2012.
Gertrude Emilia Jenkins Willhite, 94, passed away at Bethany Home in Alexandria on March 15, 2012.
Gertrude was born October 5, 1917 on a farm in Springfield, the daughter of Ernest and Mary (Renner) Meine and third oldest of eight children born to this marriage. She was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Springfield. Gertrude attended country school and every day before school she helped deliver bottled milk to homes with her father using horses.
Gertrude was united in marriage to James Jenkins at Zion Lutheran Church in Springfield and together they settled on a dairy farm for many years. She moved her family to another dairy farm near Starbuck in 1954 and worked several other jobs to help support her children. Her last employer was Bethany Home in Alexandria.
Gertrude sold her farm to her son, Leonard. She then married Donald Willhite on May 26, 1962 at Barsness Lutheran Church in Glenwood. They resided on a farm near Kensington until 1969, when they moved to the Nelson area.
Gertrude was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Nelson and volunteered her time to help with church activities. Some of her hobbies included gardening, especially her flower gardens, crafting and crocheting. She also enjoyed fishing, traveling and raising chickens to sell. Gertrude had a special companion named “Kity” as her pet cat.
She is survived by her four children, Ernest Jenkins of Springfield, Joan Melchert of Osakis, David Jenkins of Eagle Bend, and Jimmy (Virginia) Jenkins of Starbuck; daughter-in-law, Helen Jenkins of Starbuck; son-in-law, Roger Nelson of Nelson; 16 grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren; none great-great-grandchildren; one step-great-great-grandchild; sister, Laura Schnobrich; brothers, Elmer (Rose) Meine and Walter (Fern) Meine, all of Springfield; sister-in-law, Agnes Meine of Illinois; and extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brother, Edward Meine; sisters, Freida Meine, Esther Jenkins and Rose Rambow; three sons, Leonard, Steven and Donald Jenkins; daughter, Jane Nelson; daughters-in-law, Patricia Jenkins and Donna Jenkins; three grandchildren, Harold Melchert, Gary Melchert and Anthony Jenkins; and three great-grandchildren, Jenny, Christopher and Dustin Jenkins.
A funeral service was held Tuesday, March 20 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Nelson with the Rev. Barbara Lund Thompson officiating. Music was provided by Caryl Nack. Interment was at Barsness Lutheran Cemetery in Barsness Township. Casket bearers were Glenn Melchert, Howard Melchert, Dennis Melchert, Wayne Nelson, Randy Nelson and Sterling Jenkins.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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