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Funeral services for Gertrude Morris Aldrich, 101, of Williston, SC will be held five o’clock p.m., Saturday, September 29, 2018 in the Folk Funeral Home Chapel, Williston, SC with the Reverend Rich Bowen officiating; burial will be at the Williston Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home. Gertrude passed away on Friday, September 28, 2018.
Born in Green County, VA, she was a daughter of the late Edward S. Morris and Duane Knight Morris, a merchant in Greene County, VA; she was the widow of James C. Aldrich.
Survivors include her children James Edward Aldrich, Miriam Jean Aldrich Cross (Ray), Carolyn Annette Aldrich Abbott (Bob), Larry Morris Aldrich (Brenda); grandchildren Bryan Raymond Cross (Carol), Troy Wayne Cross (Young Yoon), Kevin Wesley Cross (Erika), Natalie Cross Campbell (Tim), Kimberly Abbott Heneault (Rob), Jennifer Abbott Attiliis (Mike), Robert Charles Abbott, Jr., Tracie Aldrich Williams (Carl), Kellie Aldrich Bruner (Rodney), Kenny Morris Aldrich (Jenny); 21 great grandchildren.
Like her two sisters, Gertrude moved to Washington, D.C. to find a job during the depression when she was 17 years old. She attended a year at Strayer Business College, where she obtained secretarial skills; she also attended Elon College in North Carolina. After receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit on a visit back home in Virginia, she was invited to speak at various churches as an evangelist because she spoke with anointing. Desiring to know more about the Bible, she attended the Church of God Bible Training School in Tennessee, where she met her husband James Aldrich. They later settled in Arlington, VA and had four children (the oldest was mentally impaired). James was a pastor; Gertrude worked as a secretary at different times to earn extra money. Gertrude loved teaching others about Jesus. She held approximately 500 children spell bound each Sunday morning telling them Bible Stories at Evangel Temple in Washington, D.C. After many years of struggle, God enabled Gertrude to go back to the Church of God School, which had changed its name to Lee University. In 1968, she graduated from Lee University in Cleveland, TN as Valedictorian having earned a B.S. in Christian Education. She achieved something unprecedented in the history of Lee University; she was one of the few women ever to take Greek at Lee; her final grade point average was a phenomenal 4.0 (Lee’s Clarion, October 1967). The next year, she worked as Dean of Women at Lee University where she was a blessing to many students and faculty. She furthered her education by earning a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. After retiring from Lee, she moved to Williston, SC to be near her son and his family; she taught Special Education students in the Williston School District, SC. She also tutored many children, who were behind or hard-to-learn, and had amazing results. She was a licensed Minister in the Church of God and considered her membership at the King Street Church of God in Alex., VA. She subscribed to Sunday Pix for years from Concordia Publishing so her children would learn more of the Bible. She sold enough World Book Encyclopedia sets to earn free sets for her children. At 69 years of age, she joined ELIC (English Language Institute/China) and went to China to teach the English language to University students. Gertrude visited Brownsville, FL Revival with her sister and grandson at 80 years of age. She also penned a book, Knowing God, about her life. At 99 years of age, she was Guest of Honor at the Nortonsville Church of God’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in Dyke, VA; she was the only living Charter Member since 1941.
She was preceded in death by her sisters Marguerite Morris Bickers and Madeline Morris Rupp.