Gertrude Decker Pownall, 93, of Hamilton, NY passed away Saturday, October 31, 2020 at the home of her son Tom in Pompton Plains, NJ.
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She was born on December 25, 1926 in Brooklyn, NY, daughter of Clinton Augustine and Gertrude O’Brien Decker, one of six children. She grew up on Long Island, received her BA and MA in Mathematics from Hofstra University, and began her career teaching high school math at East Rockaway High. On June 3, 1961, Gertrude married Malcolm Wilmor Pownall, commencing a blessed union lasting over 59 years. Gertrude started teaching in the Math department at Colgate in the Fall semester 1961, one of the first women who taught at the all-male Colgate University, paving the way for others. She retired in 1989 being awarded the honorary title Instructor Emerita.
Gert was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton. She was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society and was instrumental in forming the parish Consolation Committee. She contributed to the wider local community helping with Meals-on-Wheels, Red Cross blood drives, and providing assistance with tax returns as part of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
Surviving are her husband, Malcolm; children, Malcolm J. And Frances Pownall of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Mary Elizabeth Pownall and her husband, Harry Isaacs of York, England; Kathryn Ann and Matthew Feigenbaum of Greenville, SC; Thomas E. and Deanne Pownall of Pompton Plains, NJ; her younger brother, Charles Decker; and 13 grandchildren: Kasey, Sam and his wife Laura, Jess, Jack, Katy, Abby, Molly, Zack, Colby, Austyn, Hannah, Thomas, and Nicholas.
Due to current health regulations, a private Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday November 6 at St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton, followed by interment in the Colgate University Cemetery. The Mass will also be streamed on St. Mary’s Facebook page (Route20Catholic)
The family will receive friends at the Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 25 Broad St., Hamilton on Thursday November 5 from 4-7pm. Masks are required.
The Rosary will be recited at 3:45pm.
Contributions in her memory may be made to St. Mary’s Church, 16 Wylie St. Hamilton, NY 13346; to AIM Palliative Care (hospicecareinc.org), to Ennoble Care and Hospice, attn: Ginny Montella,1 Edgeview Dr., Hackettstown, NJ 07840, or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research (Michaeljfox.org).