Gertrude (Trudy) A. Ross

trudyGertrude A. Ross died on March 24, 2013 in Centerville, Mass. She was 96 years old. Trudy was a teacher, a mother, and an avid traveler. She loved to golf, but lived to sail, and could be seen captaining her 22-foot Pearson Ensign, The Ladle Gull, among the many islands of Casco Bay, well into her 88th year. Trudy carried a joy and a wonder of life with her to the end of her days, and was a devoted friend to the many lucky enough to have known her on Chebeague Island, Maine, and later Sarasota, Fla., where she retired at Lakehouse West in 1992.

The daughter of Lawrence and Harriett (Pierce) Baker, Trudy was born in Portland, Maine on November 22, 1916, the ninth of 12 children, all of whom she survived.
While attending Deering High School in 1932, Trudy met her first husband, Elliott Hawkes, who introduced her to Chebeague Island; she was smitten by both the island and the man, and married in 1938.

After high school Trudy took a job cooking for a family to earn money to attend Gorham Normal School, where she graduated in in 1938. She then began her teaching career at North Easton Grammar School, in Easton, Mass., where she taught first grade. Trudy returned to college at the University of Southern Maine, graduating in 1954, and later attended Boston College where she earned her master’s degree in Education. She retired from Edward Devotion School in Brookline, Mass., in 1972.

Trudy survived four husbands, and lived in various parts of the country, but Chebeague Island always held her heart. She and Elliott purchased one of his parents’ cottages on the island, and then her first sailboat. For much of her life she returned for the summer to her much loved island.

She was vice commodore of the island’s yacht club, a founder of the club’s Lady Skipper sailboat races, and, along with a friend, started a sailing school to teach children to sail. Trudy helped to raise money to build the Chebeague Island library, and remained on as a trustee. She was also an active member of the island’s golf club.

Trudy leaves behind her sons Arthur E. Hawkes of West Falmouth, Mass.and Chebeague Island, Maine and Douglas E. Hawkes of Nantucket, Mass., along with six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

As per Trudy’s wishes, we will wish her fair winds and a following sea, as her ashes are laid to rest between Bangs Island and Stockman Island, in Casco Bay, this summer, followed by a private memorial service. Donations in her memory can be made to the Chebeague Island Library, 247 South Road, Chebeague Island, Maine  04017.