Gertrude Alwine Stroyeck, 91, died Dec. 5, 2013, at South Peninsula Hospital. She died peacefully with her daughter present.
A memorial service is at 3 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, at The Terrace lobby at the Homer Senior Center, with the Rev. Lisa Talbott presiding.
Gert was born Oct. 2, 1922, in Decatur, Ill., to Alwine Meyer and William Meyer, the daughter of German immigrants.
She grew up in Decatur, graduated from Decatur High School and attended Millikin University in Decatur.
She worked as a chemical analyst at Spencer-Kellogg and defense plants during World War II. She met her husband, Robert Stroyeck, at Lutheran Church camp, where they both were counselors. They were married Jan. 1, 1950, in Decatur. They honeymooned in Mexico.
Gert worked at A.E. Staley and various pharmaceutical companies in Decatur.
After her husband died in 1977, she began working as a cook at the Lutheran School and at sororities and fraternities at Millikin University.
She also worked as a cook at Lachenwald Girl Scout Camp in Germany. She first came to Alaska in 1982 to work as a cook at Camp Kushtaka in Cooper Landing, driving up in her motorhome and taking the Alaska ferry.
She also worked as a cook at Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge. Over the years, she drove up to Alaska 10 times.
Gert spent several summers in Homer visiting her daughter, Jenny Stroyeck, and her son-in-law, Michael Armstrong. She volunteered at the Pratt Museum and played cards at the Homer Senior Center, where she made many friends.
In 2006, she moved to Homer to be closer to her daughter. She lived at the Homer Senior Citizens Kachemak Bay apartments on Svedlund Street and later at The Terrace.
In Decatur, she was an active member of the Soy City Campers, traveling in her trailer and motorhome to club camping events throughout the United States. She also was a longtime member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Decatur.
Gert traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting Canada, Mexico, many European countries, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. She visited 49 of the 50 United States, missing only Hawaii.
“Gert shared her love of camping and crafts through many years as a Girl Scout leader, and her love of knitting by making more than 200 Christmas stockings for family and friends. She loved wild shoes, a cutthroat game of pinochle and a good plate of barbecue. Her determination carried her through many hard times, and her sense of humor entertained those around her throughout her life,” her daughter said.
Her family wishes to thank the staff at The Terrace and South Peninsula Hospital and Dr. Giulia Tortora for their excellent care during the final months of Gert’s life.
Gert was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Stroyeck; her first daughter, Jacqueline; her parents, Alwine and William Meyer; and her brother, William Meyer.
She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Dorothy Meyer, of McKinney, Texas; her daughter and son-in-law, Jenny Stroyeck and Michael Armstrong of Homer; and 10 nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Homer, P.O. Box 4174,
Homer AK 99603; Homer Senior Citizens Inc., 3935 Svedlund St., Homer AK 99603; Concordia Lutheran Church, 3303 E. Maryland, Decatur IL 62521; or the Lutheran School Association of Decatur, 2001 East Mound Road, Decatur IL 62526.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel. Please visit her online guestbook at www.alaskanfuneral.com.