In Memory of
Gertrude Ernst


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Gertrude Ernst
1968 Yearbook 


April, 1984


STAFF (secretary 1935-1970)  Gertrude “Gertie” Louise Ernst (81)

@ Monterey Peninsula Herald, CA April 1984

Gertrude Ernst, former P.G. High School secretary, dies

Gertrude Ernst, known to thousands of school children as “Aunt Gertie” during the 35 years she was Pacific Grove High School’s secretary, died Wednesday at the Pacific Grove Convalescent Hospital after a period of failing health. She was 80.

Miss Ernst, who in 1953 was honored as Woman of the Year by the Pacific Grove Woman’s Civic Club, was long an active and influential force in community activities. Born Nov. 9, 1903, in Warren County, Ill., she moved to Pacific Grove in 1911.

She retired in 1970 after 35 years as Pacific Grove High School’s secretary, where students fondly referred to her as “Aunt Gertie.” To friends and associates she was simply, “Gertie.” >p?More than 400 people attended a reception to honor her when she announced her retirement. Rex Dunipace, who for 21 years was principal of Pacific Grove High, recalled his early days on the job when Miss Ernst had already been a popular figure for years on campus. “When I first came,” Dunipace said, “I thought she probably ought to be the principal.” “People would come in for advice or information. They didn’t want to see the principal or faculty, they wanted to see Gertie. She was just the center of things for years and years,” he said. Dunipace said Miss Ernst was everlastingly doing something for somebody else. Whenever anybody had a birthday, Gertie always rememberd to bring a cake. She never forgot.”

For 12 years, Miss Ernst worked at the Asilomar Conference Grounds when it was operated by the YWCA. The only jobs at Asilomar that she didn’t fill, she once said jokingly, were ‘lighting the boiler and meeting guests at the depot in the long truck.”

She devoted an estimated 5,000 hours to assisting the Monterey USO throughout the years. And for two summers she entertained on stage at the Monterey County Fair in a clown costume. She was a member of Mayflower Church and numerous organizations including the Monterey Peninsula Businsess and Professional Women, the Peninsula district and Pacific Grove BPW, the Pacific Grove High School Alumni Association, Pacific Grove Boosters, Monterey Peninsual Garden Club and Woman’s Civic Club of Pacific Grove. Also, the Ocean Spray chapter of the Order of the Wastern Star, Las Amigas, White Shrine, California School Employees Association Feast of Lanterns committee and the Monterey USO board of directors. Miss Ernst had also served on Monterey County’s Juvenile Justice Committee.

She is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Gladys Dean of Pacific Grove, Mrs. Mildred McMath of San Jose and Mrs.Dorothy Mattos of Salinas. Among other survivors are a niece, Olive Dean Hyler of Pebble Beach. Memorial services will be held at the Mayflower Church Saturday at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Cliff Stabler officiating. Cremation will be at the Litle Chapel by-the-Sea with inurnment at El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove.


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