Gertrude E. ‘Kay’ Diederich, 96, Wonder Lake, died Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at JourneyCare Hospice in Woodstock with her daughter by her side.
She was born Sept. 19, 1917, to George B. and Elise (Schow) Hesbol in Chicago. Always proud of her Norwegian heritage, she was also a proud first-generation American.
A summer resident of Wonder Lake from 1939, she and her family became year-round residents in 1953. She was employed at Sears in Chicago for nine years, where she was a manager in retail sales. After moving to Wonder Lake, she owned and operated Kay’s Gift Shop in Wonder Lake from 1953 until 1986. In 1987, she began working at Jewel in Crystal Lake, where she greeted customers at food demonstrations and was the front-end person until the age of 80. From 1986 until the age of 90 in 2007, she volunteered at the hospital at the gift shop at Centegra Hospital-McHenry.
She attended Wonder Lake Bible Church for more than 50 years, where she also served as a Sunday school teacher for more than 30 years.
She enjoyed watching the Wonder Lake Water Ski Team perform, as well as attending the Woodstock City Band concerts. She was an avid Chicago White Sox fan.
Survivors include a daughter, Linda Farris, Wonder Lake; a niece, Kathryn Husser, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; a great-niece and great-nephews; and her church family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Eldon, in 1976; a son, Michael Diederich in 1978; a granddaughter, Tracy Michelle Farris in 1971; and two brothers and sisters-in-law, Earling (Mildred) and Niels “Mel” (Mildred).
The visitation and funeral were May 29 at the Wonder Lake Bible Church. Interment was May 30 at McHenry County Memorial Park, Woodstock.
Memorials can be made to the Wonder Lake Bible Church or to Family Alliance.
Arrangements were made by Justen’s Wonder Lake Funeral Home, Wonder Lake.