Dec. 2, 1923 - Feb. 25, 2012
Gertrud Schmitt of Sedona, Ariz., and formerly of Waukesha, was born Dec. 2, 1923, and died Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012.
Gertrud was best known locally as one of the first teachers of what is now Montessori School of Waukesha, formerly Montini Montessori School. Originally from Trier, Germany, she educated and guided students at the school from 1965 to 1981.
The name Gertrud means 'strong spear' in German, which fit her very well. She served as a leader to some of her fellow countrymen, by leading them to the United States. While in Germany, of which there were numerous trips over the years and many with her new-found American friends, she organized groups of children and adults for four-week-long hiking trips in Bavaria, cooking meals outdoors and finding shelter along the way.
When she joined the school in 1965, classes were still held in the lower level of the Moreland Medical Center. The school then moved in 1966 to the Baptist Church on Wisconsin Avenue in Waukesha and, finally, to its current facility in 1969.
A memorial service celebrating Gertrud's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 28, at the school, 2600 Summit Ave., Waukesha, followed by lunch. Treasured friends from near and far will come together to share stories of a life well lived.