Ann Straus Gertler NYC 25 October 1922 - Montreal 30 April 2017
At 94, wife and partner in all things for 70 years of the late Maynard Gertler, loving and fearless mother of five boys, grandmother and great-grandmother, demonstrator, mentor and networker, college teacher, US Senate staffer, co-founder of Harvest House Publishers, determined and passionate advocate for peace, global abolition of war and nuclear weapons, tireless promoter of international solutions especially through the UN, consultant to government delegations and peace organizations in Canada and internationally, mentor to generations of activists, especially young women, active supporter of access to contraception, horsewoman, sailor, farmer and gardener in Westchester County, NY, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, defender of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence, facilitator of outdoor education. Daughter of Flora Stieglitz Straus and Hugh Grant Straus, Ann grew up in the bosom of two great American families in New York, Westchester and Lake George and was particularly influenced by her suffragette grandmother Elizabeth Stieffel Stieglitz, her grandfather Nathan Straus and great uncle Alfred Stieglitz. Her formal education was at Lincoln School, Vassar and Columbia, but she also learned about life and social justice and acquired country skills as a camp counsellor in Appalachia, from rural black women mentors in Virginia, Amish neighbours in Lancaster County, her community in Cambridge, England and farmer neighbours in Prince Edward and Glengarry counties of Ontario. Ann worked alongside Muriel Duckworth, Nancy Pocock, Kay MacPherson, Simone Monet Chartrand, Raymonde Roy Bowen, Murray Thomson, Diana Wright, Ursula Franklin, Douglas Roche, Jeanne Sauvé and many others against war and for sane foreign policy, especially through the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. She was present at the founding of the Fédération des femmes du Québec with Thérèse Casgrain, was instrumental in the establishment of the Grindstone Island peace education centre, Co-chair of the Group of 78, board member and UN NGO representative of Project Ploughshares at the UN in New York and Geneva, appointed by the Minister of External Affairs to the board of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security, and as Observer to the Canadian Delegation to the UN Special Session on Disarmament 1982, worked over decades with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, the International Peace Bureau, the World Federalists and Pugwash International. In 2000, Ann was the recipient of the Helen (Caldicott) Prize for Humanitarian Works. In addition to Maynard, Ann is predeceased by her brothers Hugh Grant Straus, Jr and Jerome Nathan Straus, her sister Virginia (Straus) Bersohn, and beloved son, Jeffrey Lee Gertler, as well as her in-laws Anna (Gertler) and Bernard Berger, and Leonard and Anita Gertler. Her memory will be honoured through the lives and work of her sons and their partners and her grandchildren and great grandchildren: Michael Eden Gertler, JoAnn Jaffe, Maxim Gertler-Jaffe, Jardena Gertler-Jaffe, Ann Stewart Gertler, Marin Gertler, Rocio Lastras Gertler. Adrian Lee Gertler, Lucas Mateo Gertler, Joshua Gertler, Kajsa Noyan Gertler, Noah Jeffrey Gertler, Alfred Stieglitz Gertler, Elle Gallagher, Sarah Roebuck, Katherine MacRae, William Gertler, Leo Gertler, Theodore Gertler Roebuck, Franklin Straus Gertler, Catherine Oliver, Nicholas Oliver Gertler, John Nathaniel Gertler, Edward Hart Gertler, Mary-Jo Lough, and special family member Doris Winkler. She also benefited from rich relationships and support from her niece Paula Strasberg, her nephews Elliot Berger, and Denis, Meric, Kim, and Neil Gertler, niece Jasmin Cheung-Gertler, nephews Malcolm and David Bersohn and cherished cousins Bill Schubart and Sue Davidson Lowe. We are especially grateful to Laura Ford who made Mum and Dad's lives the best they could be and to Ann's caregivers, especially Lopa, Cristina, Thelma, Lavern, Equinoxe and the Vigi Reine-Élisabeth. Graveside ceremony followed by remembrances and reception on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 3 p.m., all at Mount Royal Cemetery Complex, 1297 ch. de la Forêt, Outremont, Quebec, (514) 279-6540. Donations to: Canadian Voice of Women for Peace or other peace organization of your choice.
Thursday May 4, 2017
© Copyright 2016 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Globe and Mail, 444 Front St. W., Toronto, ON Canada M5V 2S9
Phillip Crawley, Publisher