May 21, 2024

Gertrude Joy Fricke Unruh

Gertrude Joy Fricke Unruh was born on July 21st ,1928 in Merced, California to Samuel L. and Katherine Mininger Fricke. She peacefully passed into eternity on November 9th, 2016 at St. Catherine Hospital at the age of 88. 

Gertrude struggled with heart issues and after nearly losing her in 2013, we were blessed with three years of quality time. We as a family are thankful for the gift we were given to say good-bye. Gertrude spent the early years of her life in Michigan and then moved to Perico, Texas where she began her education. Due to the dust storms, after four years, they as a family moved to Greensburg. It was here that she finished her schooling. The Fricke family moved to Cimarron, Kansas in 1944 when her father was called to pastor the congregation there. It was here that she spent her remaining youth years. Gertrude’s childhood home was a very secure and happy place and as children they had a great respect for their parents.

At the age of 13, Gertrude answered the call of God and was converted and baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite. She remained faithful to these vows to her end. Her Bible was very precious to her and she spent many hours reading in it, gaining strength and courage therein.

On August 4 of 1946, Gertrude was married to Leslie J. Unruh at Cimarron by her father, Samuel L. Fricke. To this union were born three sons and one daughter. They remained devoted to each other through 70 years of marriage. The majority of these years were spent in Gray County, involved in farming and trucking. Gertrude was the secretary-treasurer of Unruh Grain for over 40 years. She took a special interest in her family and friends and she rejoiced at the birth of each grandchild and great-grandchild. Giving to others was one of her greatest joys and no one left her house empty handed. She loved her roses and enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders. Gertrude’s faith in God carried her through the loss of all three sons and one grandson. It was inspirational how these tragedies never shook her faith in God or caused her to question His will. 

Those left to mourn her passing are: her husband, Leslie; a daughter, Gina Cash and husband Terry of Copeland; a daughter-in-law, Joan Unruh of Copeland; one brother, Sam Fricke and wife Sandy of Ontario, California; four sisters, Annabelle Smith of Chico, California; Johanna Schmidt and husband Earl of El Campo, Texas; Helen Koehn of Montezuma and Clara Koehn and husband Barton, also of Montezuma; seven grandchildren: Jeff Unruh and wife Sharleen, Kelly Unruh and wife Diana, Zachary Cash and wife Cassandra, Wesley Cash and wife Tiffany, Krysta Cash and husband Kevin Palmer, James Unruh and wife Breanna, and Chloe Unruh; nine great grandchildren: Katelyn and Makayla Unruh, Bekah and Mason Unruh, Kadence and Keira Palmer, Titus Cash, Michael Cash, and Grace Unruh. She is preceded in death by her parents; three sons: Wesley, Leslie “Rex” and Garold, a grandson, Jonathan Unruh; two brothers: Bobby and Maynard Fricke; and three sisters: Ruth Friesen, Ruby Unruh and Mary Friesen.

Funeral service will be held at Salem Mennonite Church, Copeland on Sunday November 13, 2016 at 10:30 AM with Ministers Steve Unruh, Sam Unruh, and Kelsey Unruh presiding. Burial will follow at Salem Mennonite Cemetery. Visitation will be at Swaim Funeral Chapel, Montezuma on Saturday November 12, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 5:00PM. Memorials are suggested to St. Catherine Hospice Comfort Zone Family Retreat or Bethel Home in care of the funeral home. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online guest book at