Gertrude (Gert) Bessie Kretek
Gertrude Bessie Kretek was born December 3rd, 1929 at the notable Kretek home in Deming. She passed on November 1, 2020 at the age of 90 and will be laid to rest in the Mountain View Cemetery. Her twin sister Geraldine preceded her in death on Sunday, October 25th, 2020.
Gertrude, better known as Gert, Kretek was famous in our small-town, a mascot if you will. We all recognize her twinkly eyes, sweet smile, soft speech and knew she could always be found sitting right beside her twin Gerry. Gert’s kindness was not only exerted in her demeanor but also in her generosity toward everyone she met.
Gert received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1959 from Western New Mexico University in Silver City and continued on to do graduate work at Colorado State University. Her first teaching job was in Las Cruces in 1952, then she returned to Deming in 1953 to teach at Martin and Bell Schools where she retired after 40 years. Adults today would approach her and nostalgically call her “Ms. Kretek” as if they were still school children and she, never forgetting a name or face, greeted them in the way Gert did. Her passion for teaching and connecting to children made her remembered so fondly in so many hearts, something she was very proud of.
Gert remained active in her community, wherever it was, giving back where she could. She was President of the Deming Class Room Teachers Association 1966-1967; a life member of the National Education Association; served 12 years on the supervisory committee; was Delta Kappa Gamma Pi Chapter President 1968-1970; Girl Scout Day Camp Director in 1952 in Las Cruces; Chairman for the Mother’s March for 4 years; Director of the Luna County Girl Scouts 1952-1954; Secretary for 10 years for the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis of Luna County; Member of the Kingdom of the Sun Square Dance Club and Beta Sigma Phi; Member of the Holy Family Alter Society President 1971-1973 and Vice President 1967-1971; Water Safety Chairman for the American Red Cross of Luna County for 20 years; Sgt-at-Arms for the New Mexico Woman’s Bowling Association in 1963-1978; Water Safety Instructor at the Deming Municipal Pool Summer Recreation Program for 15 years; Member of the Rio Mimbres Country Club Ladies Golf Association beginning in 1953 to the present time. Served at President 1968 thru 1970 and again in 1978; and even had publications Published in 1968: “Games and Activities for 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders” and “So Your New”.
A woman of many talents, she excelled in her academics just as she did in athletics. Gert loved the game of golf and had the opportunity to play Nancy Lopez who was 12 years old at the time. As you probably remember, Gert always bragged that she won. She was Champion Golfer at Campestre Juarez Mexico 1965 and 1967 also and runner up in 1966. She played in the the New Mexico Woman’s Golf Amateur “Consolation Winner Championship Flight in 1965 and 1968”, “2nd Flight Champion 1964” and “Rio Mimbres Country Club Champion 1967”. She and her sister also excelled in bowling, wining Runner Up Doubles in the New Mexico State Woman’s Bowling Tournament in 1960 and being on the First Place Team in the New Mexico Woman’s Bowling Association State Tournament in 1978.
The Kretek Twin’s might be best known for their grandeur Annual Old Timers Breakfast. The old pink house was filled wall-to-wall, with people, biscuits and laughs. Food made on their cast-iron woodstove laid out for all to eat, along with porcelain dishware, silverware and linen napkins. The twins shared the back porch and greeted all who came in, remembering each of us by name.
She gave to us all more than we could ever give back, so in turn let’s keep her in our memory, in our stories and keep the Kretek Twin Legacy alive for generations to come.
Memorial service will take place on Friday, November 6, 2020 at Holy Family Parish, 615 S. Copper Street, Deming, NM 88030. Viewing will begin at 9 o’clock in the morning with the recitation of the Holy Rosary to follow at 10 led by Janette Smith. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 with the rite and committal interment to follow at Mountain View Cemetery. Fr. Tom Smith will officiate.
Pallbearers are as follows; James Morgan, Carlos Mendez, Eddie Remondini, Conrad Jacquez, Alan Carreon and Moses Pastran. Honorary Pallbearers are as follows; Julie Mendez, Kathryn Hodson, Pablo Armendariz, Oli Ortiz, Jan Koenig, Patricia Prince, Barbara Jimerson and Ken Johnson.
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