Gertrude Hazel Peck Loker died Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Liberty after a short illness. She was described by someone who knew her well as a “tough spirited woman.” She was 96.
Gert was born on Jan. 22, 1924 in her family home in Harvard, New York, the fourth of 10 children of Warren Sr. and Hazel Jaycox Peck. Growing up during the Depression taught her much and shaped her life immeasurably.
She was educated in a one-room schoolhouse through eighth grade, then attended and graduated from Walton High School in 1942.
On May 18, 1944, she married Paul C. Loker at the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Walton.
She and Paul first met as fellow passengers on the O&W rail line as they travelled to Scintilla in Sidney where they both worked making airplane parts during World War II. Gert was a drill press operator and remained on the job until their first child was on its way. She returned to Scintilla in the early 60s and retired after 30 years.
She was a member of Home Bureau, a Cub Scout leader and a 4-H leader. She loved to sew, cook, bake and can. If you were ever gifted with a can of her tomatoes, a jar of jam or pickles – know that you were special to her. Her vegetable gardens yielded beautiful results, but the flowers around her home were – next to her family - her greatest source of pride.
Raised in church settings, she loved old-fashioned hymns and regretted she wasn’t more musically talented. At her death she was a member of the Walton United Presbyterian Church.
Although conservative at heart, she enjoyed pretty clothes, kept her hair “done,” ate good food, drove nice cars, and even owned a snowmobile in the 70s. If she knew there was something someone needed – or wanted – if she was able to, she donated generously. She was a voracious reader of historical novels, did crossword puzzles daily and loved to watch Perry Mason reruns. She liked “old” country music. She did her best to attend the Delaware County Fair to cheer for her favorite horse show exhibitors. She lived in the same house, 32 Platt Street, for 72 years.
In January of 1946, Gert and Paul’s first child, John Paul Loker, was born. Johnny died in 1953, a victim of the polio epidemic.
She is survived by her children Ruth (Joseph Bolduc) Houck, Walton; Eric Samuel (Robin) Loker, Albuquerque, N.M., and Mary (Joseph) Hafele, Walton; grandchildren Eric Hall, Iraq and Magir Hall, Malaysia; Maggie (Kyle) Munigle, Walton, Ryan (Audrey) Loker, of Moorpark, Calif., Molly (Drew) Hammond, Walton; Kristin (Lukas Perry) Loker, Denver, Colo., and Elizabeth (Anthony Kipikasha) Hafele, New Fairfield, Conn. Also, eight great-grandchildren who were the lights of her life: Adrianna “Annie” (Joel) Seymour; Landon, Tripp and Wilder Taylor, Loic and Rainer Hall, Liam Loker, and Noa Perry; her sister, Louise Peck of Walton and sister-in-law Doris Peck of Sprakers and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband, Paul, on May 9, 1994; siblings Emma Howland, Ivan Peck, Rhoda Russ, Doris Rowell, Winford Peck, Warren Peck Jr., Barbara Northrup and Rev. R. Thomas Peck; a niece, Alison Peck, and nephews Tom Peck and Jim Peck.
Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, PO Box 88, Delhi, NY 13753 in memory of Shep and Lady Blue, or to the American Arbor Day Foundation at arborday.org.
A graveside memorial service is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Aug. 14, at the Walton Cemetery.