Gertrude Frances Fish, age 93, died Monday, February 10, 2020 at Cuyuna Regional Care Center in Crosby. She was born September 8, 1926 to Bartek and Mathilda (Gonsior) Baldy in Donnelly, Minnesota, and grew up on a farm outside of Delano, Minnesota. She completed high school in Delano and attended St. Cloud Teachers College where she completed teaching certification in elementary education. She taught in the school districts of St. Cloud, Atwater, Kimball, St. Louis Park, Crosby, and Modesto, California.
Gertrude met James “Jim” Fish while she was teaching 3rd grade at Franklin School in Crosby, and they were married in Delano on August 20, 1955. Gert and Jim raised five children in Crosby. Gert was a substitute teacher for many years. Once her youngest was in school, she returned to full-time work. During the following years she was employed by a variety of organizations including Samco, Ruttgers Bay Lake Lodge, Crosby Community Center, and Cuyuna Range Elementary School. Jim and Gert owned and operated the Town Tavern in Ironton from 1976 to 1984. Gert was a devout member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Crosby for 60 years, serving in the Altar Society, Council of Catholic Women, and as a member and officer of the National Catholic Society of Foresters, St. Mary’s Court #854. Gert was an active member of the Crosby Fire Department Auxiliary, and belonged to Cuyuna Range Women’s Club. Gert was brought up in a railroad family - her father and all her brothers worked for the Great Northern. This association and a railroad pass instilled in her a love of travel and she took advantage of summer vacations during her teaching years to explore the US, Canada and Mexico. Her furthest trip, taken with Jim and friends, was to Hawaii and Las Vegas. Following Jim’s death, she traveled with son Jeff to Mexico and to North Carolina to visit her sister. Gert had a green thumb and enjoyed gardening. She was an adventurous cook and baker, and instilled a love of good food and good nutrition in her family. In her senior years she became an avid computer user, enabling her to keep connected with family, reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and keep abreast of news and changes in the world.
Gert was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jim, brothers Leo, George and Anthony Baldy and sister Lorraine Plotnik. She is survived by and was very proud of her children, Elizabeth “Lisa” Fish of North Miami, FL, Bob (Pam) of Clermont, FL, Tim of Crosby, Jeff (Doreen) of Crosby, and Jeanne Fish (Robert Johnson) of Minneapolis, grandson Oskar Johnson, granddaughters, Lillian Johnson, Alexandra Fish, and Elizabeth Fish. She is also survived by sisters Regina Rosch of Richfield, Dolores Griffin of Winston-Salem, NC, LaVern Ross (Don) of Lonsdale, MN, brothers-in-law Jack (Meryl) Fish of Baxter and Bill “Pug” (Joann) Fish of Big Lake, sisters-in-law Jeanne Baldy of Inver Grove Heights and Jean Baldy of Delano, and 38 nieces, nephews and their families.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Crosby on Tuesday, February 18 at 10:00 AM. Visitation will be held on Monday, February 17 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM with rosary prayers at 6:30 PM at Koop Funeral Home, Crosby, and one hour prior to Mass at church on Tuesday. Burial will be at Lakewood Cemetery in Crosby. Memorials preferred.