Gertrude Healy

Obituary of Gertrude Rowland Healy

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Gertrude Graham Rowland Healy of Blawenburg, New Jersey, died peacefully in her home on February 10, 2022.  Born to Charles Joseph Rittenhouse Rowland and Gertrude du Puy Dougherty Rowland at the Philadelphia Lying-In Hospital on November 11, 1938, Gertrude was named after her maternal grandmother who died only three weeks before she was born and had longed for a granddaughter.  She grew up at the family home, “Greenacre,” in Meadowbrook, PA.  In 1940 she spent the month of July with her family at the Jersey shore in Mantoloking and she forever loved the beach.  The family spent much time at the Chalfont Hotel in Cape May, NJ.


Gertrude spent many childhood days playing tennis at the Philadelphia Cricket Club with her father and her sister, Ann.  They would play tennis “all day long.”  Gertrude’s father, Joe Rowland, was the 1916 University of Pennsylvania Men’s Tennis Letterwinner and Captain of the Bay Head Yacht Club Tennis Team.  One of her fondest memories was being a ball girl to Billie Jean King at the Girls 18-and-under National Tournament at the Philadelphia Cricket Club.


Her formal education took place in the Philadelphia area, beginning in 1943 as a kindergartener at the Abington Friends School at Jenkintown.  Gertrude then attended the Rydal School Primary Department of the Ogontz School where she learned to read music before learning to read English.  Gertrude was very proud of the fact that Amelia Earhart had also attended Ogontz.  She graduated from the Springside School and the University of Pennsylvania.  At Penn, she played varsity field hockey and lacrosse.  


In 1961 she married John B. Healy, of Bryn Mawr, the brother of Elizabeth Healy, her Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sister at Penn.  The couple lived in New York City before moving to Princeton where they lived for twenty years, raising two children, before moving to nearby Blawenburg.  John and Gertrude were happily married for 53 years before John passed away in 2015.  One of Gertrude’s fondest memories was rafting with John for two weeks down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  She “slept on the beach with snakes and extreme heat to make sure that John would be okay.”


Mrs. Healy taught elementary school for the East Windsor Board of Education for over 20 years, starting with the Walter C. Black Elementary School and later with the Ethel McKnight Elementary School.  She was awarded the 1994-1995 East Windsor Regional School District Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award while teaching first grade at the McKnight school.  She had a great interest in science and enthusiastically read each monthly issue of Scientific American Magazine.  An avid horticulturalist, she earned a Master Gardener Certificate and volunteered hours for the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County Horticultural Hotline.  Gertrude was a very active member of the Garden Club of Princeton and the Present Day Club.  In her later years, she served as a Eucharistic Minister for the Catholic Community of Saint Charles Borromeo in Skillman.  


Gertrude is survived by her two children, Ann Guarnaccia and John Healy, daughter-in-law, Katherine Healy, five granddaughters, Alissa Guarnaccia, Caitlin Healy, Mariah Guarnaccia, Susanna Healy, and Margaret Healy, her sister Ann Reath, brother-in-law, George Reath, brother-in-law Frederick Muller, nephews Frederick Muller, Edward Healy, Christopher Healy, William Platt, Benjamin Platt and niece, Elizabeth Healy.


A private burial was held in Philadelphia on February, 15, 2022.

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