Yvonne Rita Theresa Martin Gerdes

Yvonne Rita Theresa Martin Gerdes passed away on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Slidell, Louisiana. While she took pride in her many names, she was known to her children and grandchildren as “Goose” or “Gammie.” Yvonne was 93 years old, born to Reinhardt Martin and Catherine Meyer Martin on October 5, 1920. She was raised on Forstall Street in the Lower Ninth Ward, where her extended family had deep roots. She would fondly tell stories of her packed depression-era home, filled with aunts, uncles, grandparents and great-uncles. She graduated from Holy Child Jesus Academy — St. Maurice Convent — in 1938 and later Soule Business College. She married her childhood sweetheart, Eugene Bertrand Gerdes, Jr. in 1942. Eugene preceded her in death in 1986. Yvonne was also preceded in death by her sister, Dorothy Vinsanau, and her grandson, Benjamin Gerdes. Yvonne is survived by her children Linda G. Conaway (Ronald, Sr.), Eugene B. Gerdes, III (Mary Melissa), Kathleen G. Comeaux (Stephen), and Robert G. Gerdes (Paula), as well as her sister Roselyn Barrios. She was a devoted grandmother to 12 grandchildren: Ronald Jr. (Sandra), Mark Sr., Michael (Dana); and Darrin Conaway; Ross (Mila), Matthew, and Gregory (Amy), Comeaux; Markus Gerdes, Rebecca Gerdes (Gerry), and Laura G. Colligan (Lucas); Julie G. Becnel (Andrew), and Caroline Gerdes, along with 12 great-grandchildren: Courtney C. Miller (Kevin), Amanda C. Dudley (Ian), Mark P. Jr. (Rachael), Michael, Meghan, Matthew, Nathan, Sean, Sarah, Rachael and Patrick Conaway, Baylor Martin Comeaux and two great-great grandchildren: Tori and Ali Conaway— though she would boast of a much higher number of grandchildren by including spouses and friends. Throughout Yvonne’s life she was an active member of the New Orleans community and her parishes— in her early 80's she liked to say she volunteered to assist residents at an “old folks” home. She and her family attended St. Maurice in the Ninth Ward, where her four children also attended school. When the family moved to Chalmette, she worshipped at Our Lady of Prompt Succor and Prince of Peace Parishes. She often attended mass with her children and grandchildren at Holy Ghost in Hammond and Our Lady of the Lake in Mandeville. Yvonne lived in Chalmette until she lost her home to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She had been a resident of Slidell since then. As a loving wife and devoted mother, Yvonne spent her life caring for her family. She was a special lady who touched everyone she met. She had many relatives and friends who loved her very much. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her and fondly remembered for her wonderful sense of humor, grand stories, commitment to her family and red beans and rice recipe. A brief visitation for family and long-time friends was held on Monday, February, 24, 2014 at the St. Bernard Memorial Garden Funeral Home in Chalmette, LA. Internment in the St. Bernard Memorial Gardens mausoleum immediately followed the funeral mass. The family would like to offer our sincere thanks for the loving care provided by the staff of Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Slidell. To view and sign the family guestbook, please visit www.stbernardmemorial.com

St. Bernard Voice

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