Gertrude June Lesher Cross Will was born August 14, 1926, on the family farm, three miles west of Clarion, Iowa, to Lawrence Hauman and Bernice Christina (Bubeck) Lesher. She attended country school in Dayton Township, went to Clarion (Iowa) High School, and graduated in 1943. Gertrude worked in the high school office for Mr. Christensen and in the Courthouse. She later went to Des Moines, Iowa, to work for a cosmetic company, and in 1945, she moved to Denver, Colorado.
In 1946, Gertrude returned to Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, where she earned a teacher’s certificate. Gertrude met True Aldrian Cross in Cedar Falls and they were married on March 20, 1954, in the First United Methodist Church in Clarion.
True and Gertrude had three children, Thomas, Randall and Kathryn. They operated a crop and dairy farm business, milking up to 190 Jersey cows at the operation west of Cedar Falls, and crop farming locations south of Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa. Gertrude was part of the farm venture, working in the small calf nursery and dairy operations. Gertrude also worked seven years for the Waterloo Probationary Court as a technical secretary.
Gertrude’s husband, T.A., preceded her in death on November 30, 1986. She met and married Delbert Will of Irwin, Iowa. Delbert was a crop and livestock farmer and they eventually retired, traveled and moved into Irwin. Delbert died in 2001.
Gertrude was an active member of the Irwin Church of Christ. She was also a member of the Library Club, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Shelby County Garden Club, and the Ladies Missionary Society.
Gertrude J. Will died on October 3, 2008, at the Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison, Iowa, having reached the age of 82 years, 1 month, and 19 days.
Preceding Gertrude in death were her parents; her husbands, T.A. Cross and Delbert Will; and two brothers, Melvin Lesher and Orville Lesher. She is survived by three children, Thomas (Rebecca) Cross of South Beloit, Illinois, Randall Cross of Waterloo, Iowa, and Kathryn Morris of New Virginia, Iowa; one sister, Beulah Lesher of Iowa; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service was held on Thursday, October 9, 2008, at the Irwin Church of Christ in Irwin, Iowa, with Pastor Ted Sieck officiating. Burial of ashes took place in Oak Hill Cemetery in Irwin. Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.burmeisterjohannsen.com.