Gertrude M. McAlister
June 25, 1913 - June 15, 2016
Born to Benedict and Mabel Mishler (Harder) on June 25, 1913 in Albany, Oregon – Gertrude passed away June 15, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 102.
Gertrude graduated from Albany High School in 1931 and was crowned Strawberry Queen of the 1931 Lebanon Strawberry Festival. That same year, she was named Worthy Advisor Rainbow Barzillai Assembly of Albany and received the Grand Cross of Color in Recognition of Distinguished Service Rendered in behalf of the Rainbow for Girls in 1933.
Between 1933 and 1942, Gertrude worked in the Operator’s License and Traffic Safety Division of the Oregon Motor Vehicle Department under the Secretary of State.
In 1942, she worked at the Washington National Airport in Washington, D.C. as the Production Control Coordinator for Pennsylvania Central Airlines, which became Capitol Airways. Gertrude ultimately worked as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President of Operations and Maintenance. Glamour Magazine ran a story about Gertrude in 1945, and her position with the airline.
She met her husband Stuart in Alexandria, VA and the two were married in 1948, at George Washington’s Church in Alexandria.
In 1976 (after Stuart’s retirement from United Airlines) they moved from Oak Park, Illinois to Salem, Oregon. Stuart passed away January 1, 1992.
After Stuart’s death, Gertrude did volunteer work for Reach for Recovery for the Cancer Society in Salem and West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, IL. She was a Life Member of the West Suburban Hospital Auxiliary. She also did volunteer work at the Sunnyside Elderly Care Center in Salem.
Gertrude loved golf and travel. She served as Golf Chairman of the Ladies Auxiliary for the River Forest Golf Club in Elmhurst, IL.
At her own request, there will be no public funeral ceremony. Gertrude will be e quietly entombed next to her husband Stuart, at Willamette Memorial Park Mausoleum in Albany, under the direction of Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.