Gertrude A. Watkins

March 29, 2021
Gertrude A Watkins
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On Monday evening, March 29th, 2021 at FF Thompson Hospital Gertrude A. Watkins passed suddenly, but peacefully, into the kingdom of Heaven.

Gertrude Alice Holdren was born on April 20, 1933, she was the oldest of three daughters in the family of Howard H. and Ocie Mae (Worthington) Holdren in Lungerville, Pennsylvania. Gertie was born at home, where they also operated a general store. Within the next decade the family moved to the family farm near Millville, Pennsylvania, where they remained.

In high school, Gertie was a member of the debate club, the Drama Club and she was scorekeeper of the Millville Varsity Baseball team. Upon her graduation from Millville High, she attended Bloomsburg State College
for 2 years. She then accepted an invitation for a summer job on Canandaigua Lake, managing the LeTourneau Christian Camp bookstore. At the end of the summer, she loved the area and her new friends so much that she and 2 other girls stayed. Gertie found a job in Canandaigua working as a bookkeeper for Boyce Motorlines, and the girls all shared a 3rd floor apartment in the home of LeTourneau’s director’s home, Harold and
Fran Seeley.

Gertie met Robert James Watkins of Gorham at Bethel Baptist Church and they married on August 25th, 1956. They were members and high school youth group leaders for the Bethel Baptist Church, while in its historic location on South St. in Gorham. They had enjoyed and endured life together in holy matrimony for 56 years at the time of his passing in 2012. Together, they operated the family dairy farm, Welblest Farms in Gorham, and operated a farmer’s market egg business, inherited from Arthur William
Watkins, Bob’s father, and first located on the Union St. Public Market in downtown Rochester, then expanding to the newly created Genesee Valley Regional Market in Henrietta, NY. When downtown business faded, they moved the entire business to the Regional Market and once again worked as a team. Gertie could sell ice to the Eskimos! They sold the business in 1981. Upon Bob’s death, she took over his seat serving on the Board of Director’s of the Genesee Valley Regional Market.

Gertie was employed by the Marcus Whitman School District for 35 years as a clerk. She wore many hats with this job title but the closest to her heart was that of Library clerk. She spent many years in both the Gorham and the Valley Elementary schools helping to encourage the love of reading in hundreds, if not thousands, of area children. Some of her other hats were Attendance Lady, Cafeteria Monitor, Central Supply Lady, AudioVisual Lady, etc. She loved the staff and the children she worked with right up to the day of her retirement. She was a hard worker and always went the extra mile to help others.

In 1970, the family moved their membership from Bethel Baptist to Canandaigua Baptist, later to become LifeSpring Community Church. She held many positions in the course of the next few decades. Gertie became a Sunday School teacher, a nursery caretaker, a Junior Church leader and High School Youth Group leader. Up until COVID hit, she was the unofficial official welcomer for anyone she could take under her wing and make feel welcome. She was always ready with a big smile and a warm hello, asking for your address so that she could send you a card and thank you for coming to church!

Gertie is survived by her daughter and beloved son-in-law, Beth and Mark Rasmussen; also, her housemates and cherished grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Joshua and Chrissy Watkins; and her four precious great-grandchildren, Cadence Watkins, Dylan Loomis, Joshua Watkins and Mason Loomis. She is also survived by her son, David Watkins; her sister, Miriam Weaver; several nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours for Gertie. It was her wish that we all gather together at a later time for a Celebration of Life and hear a special message that Gertie has for each one of you that touched her life. We will notify you of the arrangements at a later date.

Donations may be made in Gertie’s memory to either: LeTourneau Christian Center 4950 County Road 11 Rushville NY 14544; or to LifeSpring Community Church, 5026 North Road, Canandaigua NY. 14424

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