Gertrude W. Cantwell, 1925 - 2015

Cantwell Obit Pic

Gertrude W. Cantwell, 90, of 1261 NW 193rd Avenue, Pembroke Pines, FL, died October 22, 2015, at the Christallis Manor in Hollywood, FL. Born in Queens, New York, on April 18, 1925, she was the daughter of Bernard and Winifred Geary Whalen. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Queens College with a BA in Education and Minor in Music.  She began her teaching career as a Kindergarten teacher in New York. On December 26, 1949, she married Herbert E. Cantwell. She and Herb moved to their beloved State of Maine in 1957 where they reveled in welcoming family and friends to visit until Herb’s death on June 15, 2003.  Gertrude worked as an elementary school teacher, teaching 2nd grade at St. Joseph’s School in Lewiston for many years, retiring in 1974.  Her proudest moment was receiving a standing ovation from the students and faculty at St. Josephs when she retired.  She was always humbled when past students would seek her out to introduce their own families over the years.  Gertrude enjoyed life’s simplest pleasures. She was an avid pianist and could sing harmony. She loved the ocean and would delight in educating anyone who would listen about nature. She became an accomplished artist and focused upon watercolor painting.  She was thrilled to display her masterpieces at local art fairs.  Her unpretentious wisdom was shared with all who met her: “leave places cleaner than when you arrived, always wear a smile and just do your best.” She had sometimes been thought of as “fragile Gertie”, but she conquered lymphoma with a vengeance.  She was devastated to leave Maine, yet she knew that moving to Florida would allow her to be closer to family.  Gertrude was dearly loved by so many friends and colleagues over the years.  Time and distance led to challenges in remaining connected. Family survivors include a daughter, G. Patricia Cantwell, MD, and spouse Dolores Serrecchia, of Pembroke Pines, FL, a sister, Joan Boegel of Mechanicsburg, PA, two grandsons, Justin and Brandon Serrecchia, and three great-grandchildren, Neiko Serrecchia, Ava Serrecchia and Emily Keith. Gertrude’s family survivors include her nieces, nephews and their families: Emily and Jim Buchanan, Peter Boegel, Loretta and Phil Turmel, Ceil and Andy Baum, and Tom and Elizabeth Boegel.  Her older sister Florence is predeceased.  



Funeral Notice


CANTWELL, Gertrude, 90, of Pembroke Pines, FL, died October 22, 2015, in Hollywood, FL. The family plans a Celebration of Life at Sebasco Harbor Resort, 27 Kenyon Road, Sebasco Estates, Maine 04565. on August 13, 2016 at 11 AM, with lunch to follow. Interment, Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, Augusta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the charity of your choice.

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© Gerald Burpee 2016