A son's handmade Mother's Day card carefully saved for 50 years reads: "Her children shall rise up and call her blessed -Proverbs 31:28"
Our blessed mother, grandmother and wife, Gertrude Bevacqua, passed away peacefully, age 90, at home surrounded by family on Easter Sunday, March 31. The love expressed in those many saved cards and letters from her family is forever.
She was born Gertrude Bjornson on August 19, 1922 in Norway, Michigan, to Dennis and Anna Cuff Bjornson, the youngest of seven children. The Great Depression made life challenging but hers was a loving family filled with Irish and Swedish heritage, a strong faith, close held values and mutual support.
After graduation from high school in Norway, she followed two sisters into the nursing profession graduating from the Columbus Hospital School of Nursing (Loyola University) in Chicago, Il, 1944. She then served in the Army, WWII, as a surgical nurse with the rank of 1st Lt., stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the 147th General Hospital.
After military discharge in 1946, she returned to Chicago to work. There she met Louis Bevacqua, the best friend of her roommate's fiancé from Texas. After a long distance romance, they were married April 18, 1949 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Dallas, Texas.
Married to a Petroleum Geologist, she gave birth to four children and relocated seven times with the company before landing in Midland in 1969. At retirement Midland became home. She worked as an RN at Midland Memorial Hospital on 2W and Day Surgery. She loved the nursing profession and was an "Old School" RN: cap, white uniform, hose and shoes. She was known to carry a bottle of white shoe polish to work so that her shift could start the day without scuffed shoes. She pre-dated most computerized nursing practice and the surge of new technologies, yet marveled at the modern RN's level of education and confidence. She even grew to accept nurses wearing scrubs outside the OR and the loss of cap and pin she wore so proudly each day. She inspired a daughter to become an RN.
After her retirement, she stayed active in volunteer work with Community Children's Clinic, Meals on Wheels, St. Ann's Church Alter Society and visiting the home bound. She dedicated her social security income to support charities. And always, the rock of her life was her Roman Catholic faith. More of a homebody than a traveler, she loved to crochet, read mystery novels and the daily paper. She was an excellent cook with the ability to prepare an Italian meal that rivaled her Italian in-laws. She was generous, loved the holidays and making each of her children feel special, giving you a imaginary "blue/gold bow" if you did a good job in any way. She loved to watch EWTN and Fox News and was known to stop any activity to follow a televised car chase, always disappointed when it ended too soon.
A proud displaced "Yooper", she enriched her children's lives with summer trips to her native Upper Penninsula of Michigan and the joys of family gatherings, blue lakes, pine woods, cottages, camps and Pasties. She never lost touch with her home town and family but was glad to leave the winters to them. She also loved Texas, evening car rides and Texas Rangers baseball, especially Michael Young and Josh Hamilton. She loved her dogs through the years and, although Alzheimer's Disease claimed much of her memory, she never forgot her beloved Boston Terrier, Chancey.
She was married to her true love, Lou, for almost 64 years. She is survived by him and her four children: Lucretia Bevacqua of Midland, Louis, Jr of Las Cruces, NM, Anna Brewer of Plano and Anthony of Austin. She adored her two grandchildren: Paul Brewer and Claire Brewer of Plano. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Her family would like to thank those who sent many prayers her way, her many caregivers with Home Instead and Home Hospice, especially Amy Burns, Shari Evans and the truly amazing Home Hospice care team.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider donations to Catholic Relief Services, St Ann's Church or the Hospice House in Odessa.
A rosary has been scheduled for 7:00pm on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at Ellis Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral Mass has been scheduled for Friday, April 5, 2013 at 10:00am at St. Ann's Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park. Online condolences may be offered at www.ellisfunerals.com.