Gertrude L. Conroy, 90: Selfless volunteer gave hospital thousands of hours, and more

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PORTLAND — Gertrude L. Conroy, 90, died peacefully April 16 in her home at 75 State St.

She was born in Portland on Feb. 12, 1925, the daughter of Philip E. and Gertrude Peterson LaRou. She attended St. Joseph’s Grammar School and graduated from Cathedral High School in the class of 1943.

She married Robert H. Conroy, and the couple made their home and raised their family in South Portland. She was a communicant of Holy Cross Church and a member of the church sodality. 

Throughout most of her life, Gertrude worked in the retail industry, including Rines Brothers and Shoppers Mart stores. Before retiring, she also worked for 14 years as a sales representative with Avon Products.

After retirement, she found great joy in her volunteer work at Mercy Hospital. There she worked more than 20 years, contributing more than 30,000 hours of volunteer time. In recognition, the Mercy Auxiliary honored Conroy with its prestigious Scanlon Award.

Conroy loved knitting and crocheting blankets for her family, friends and others. As recently as this month, she donated her crocheted blankets to the hospital and to a local animal shelter.

Conroy was predeceased by her husband in October 1999.

She is survived by two daughters, Peggy and husband, Edward Seymourian, of South Portland, and Pat and husband, Arthur Gaudreau, of Bowdoinham; three sons, Michael and wife, Sandra Conroy, of Portland, Kevin and wife, Julie Conroy, of New Hampshire, and Dennis and wife, Inson Conroy, of Indiana; a sister, Margaret Rutter, of Portland; a brother, Joseph E. and wife, Linda LaRou, of New York; 13 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours were scheduled Wednesday from 4-7 p.m., at the Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway. Prayers will be recited at the funeral home on Thursday at 10:15 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. Mass of Christian burial at Holy Cross Church, 150 Cottage Road, South Portland.

Burial will be private in Calvary Cemetery.

Those who wish may make contributions in Conroy’s memory to Mercy Hospital’s oncology department, or to the charity of one’s choice.

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