Gertrude Albert

Obituary of Gertrude P. Albert

Albert, Gertrude Phillips (“Sue”), 94, of Wyckoff passed peacefully on May 16 at the Christian Health Care Center. Diagnosed with coronavirus just two weeks before, this tough lady – never afraid to take on anything - finally met her match. The virus may have taken her body, but never her spirit. She was serene and took comfort in having her family around her (even if through the window of her room) right up until the end. Loving wife, mother, sister and daughter, Sue never feared anything and addressed challenges head-on, her deep faith in God always giving her tremendous strength. Sue was born in Fairport, NY, the daughter of Kenneth and Grace (Pitney) Phillips. An older brother, Arthur, predeceased her in 2006 and a younger sister, Margaret, lives in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to her husband, Alban, of 67 years, she leaves a son Kenneth Albert of Palm Springs, CA. and three grandchildren (Shannon, Sharon, Sean); a daughter Heidi Gilmore (husband Jack) of Millis, MA. and two grandchildren (John, William); and a daughter Karen Gardner (husband Steve) of Wynnewood, PA. and two grandchildren (Andrew, Lisa). Valedictorian of her 1943 Fairport High School class, she was involved in almost every activity the school offered and president of many. She went on to attend Oberlin College, in an era when not many young women went to college. She excelled there, too, and after graduating with a Bachelor’s in Religion from Oberlin in 1947, went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City, earning her Masters in Christian Education. After graduating, she came to New Jersey to work as a youth director at the Paterson YWCA. It was there that she met the love of her life, Alban Albert (“Al”) who was teaching adult painting classes, also at the Paterson Y, in the evening program. One thing led to another and soon they were partners for life, marrying in 1952. Sue taught elementary school in the Ramsey public school system before staying home full-time with her children. She later worked in various Christian education roles, including at West Side Presbyterian Church, where she was a 45+ year member. Music was her passion and she played several instruments, but her favorite was the cello. She was in the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra and also regularly played quartets with local friends for years. Her children and husband were known to make themselves scarce when the sessions were held at her home, as well as on Saturday mornings when the Metropolitan Opera reverberated throughout the house. Sue was also an avid photographer and decades-long member and past president of the Ridgewood Camera Club. Her pictures won many awards in Camera Club competitions. She loved to garden and took pride in her yard in the springtime, when it was a blaze of color. Finally, she was a voracious reader, devouring books as well as the Sunday NY Times, and then tenaciously working the crossword puzzle all week long. In the late 80’s, Sue decided to go back to Union, once again. This time, she graduated with a Masters in Divinity in 1992, at age 67. Sue and Al were happiest being around their children and grandchildren and enjoying their home in Maine, where they delighted in spending the summers. They made a lot of treasured friends in Maine and, with them, built up a neighborly community. Our precious mother is sadly missed and always loved. There will be an online service in celebration of the lives of both Sue and her husband Al on June 28, at 1pm EST, via Zoom. Please get the session info here: https://bit.ly/2zLxAFU. All are welcome to attend and, if you are so inclined, please come ready to share your favorite story about Sue! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: • Union Theological Seminary, Attn: Kevin McGee, Development Office, 3041 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 • The Wyckoff Wildlife Center. Make checks payable to County of Bergen (in the memo field write: Environmental Center Trust Fund) and mail to: James A. McFaul Environmental Center, 150 Crescent Ave., Wyckoff, NJ 07481
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