WOODBURY – Gertrude Hardisty, of Woodbury, died Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was the widow of Chester C. Hardisty.
Gert was born in Waterbury, Conn., Nov. 15, 1929, daughter of the late Henry and Katherine (Conley) Cassidy. She was a graduate of Staatsburg High School in Staatsburg, N.Y. She grew up in a tight-knit family whose lives were deeply affected by the depression, the tragic deaths of their father and two spouses just as brothers were called overseas to serve in World War II, leaving mother and daughters to share financial and child rearing chores. Luckily, Gert liked to work and she was a quick study. As one of the 30-some employees at The Old Hundred, a wonderful ice-cream making plant started by neighbor Sam Green, she met Chet Hardisty, whom she married in 1953. They made their home in Woodbury and Gert started working at The Curtis House, alongside her husband and mother-in-law who owned the historic inn. She would work there over the next 50 years. She was a versatile employee and easily followed the direction of the chef, Dan Fenstamacher, and became a skilled sandwich and salad maker. She could wash dishes, waitress, clean bathrooms and serve as bookkeeper.
She became passionate about the Inn, spending much of her time buying canopy beds, covering walls with small print Waverly patterns, and collecting antiques to adorn the upstairs rooms to the delight of overnight guests. Children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and neighbors were schooled in proper techniques of setting a table and making a bed. She truly loved people. She was active in Girl Scouts, the March of Dimes, a lifetime parishioner at St. Theresa’s Church in Woodbury, joined different bowling leagues, and rarely missed a Friday night Woodbury High School basketball game.
She was an avid fan of the Yankees and UConn Girls. The dinner table at her house quickly expanded to accommodate however many were coming, a fabulous meal was prepared and dishes were left piled up in the sink as funny stories, tattle-telling and heated political discussions took over. Card games went into the wee hours. As those of us who knew her remember, she was highly competitive, but she loved a good laugh.
She never lost her farming roots. The house usually contained at least one dog, and the yard housed chickens, pigs and cows. As she aged, she particularly enjoyed lingering over a cup of coffee, and looking out the window at the birds on the feeders. Being a wife, mom, grandma, GG, aunt, sister and friend were the most important things to her.
Gert leaves six children to honor and cherish her memory, four daughters, JoAnne (Paul) Wislocki, Kathryn (Raymond) Walauskas, Susan (Tom) Hanrahan and TJ (Nick) Brennan; two sons, Gerald (Marti) Hardisty and Chris Hardisty and (Robin Tofield); her sister, MaryKay (Will) Brodeur; and 11 grandchildren, Mike (JoAnn) Wislocki, Katie (Pedro) Gay, Samantha (Dwayne) Soriano, Rachel Hardisty, Tess (James) Brennan, Karen (Fred) and Peter Walauskas, Jestelle and Emma Hanrahan, Nick (Sydney) and Wyatt Brennan, will have wonderful memories of Gert/Grandma Trudy. She recorded audio books for most of her great-grandchildren, Sean, Kyle and Abby McCormick, Chet, Mae and Jude Wislocki, Julia and Alex Gay, Grant, Everly and new baby Hoffman, Beckett and Asher Soriano, Raegan and Dylanne Evans, so her love of reading and lessons from The Little Red Hen, and The Little Train that Could and Nursery Rhymes continues to be shared. Brothers-in-law, Ray and John Hardisty, longtime friend, Jane Sandulli, nieces and nephews, especially Terry, Joe, Tim and Russell, Jeanne, Sandy, Ron, Doug, Nancy, Tara, Chuck, Linda, Frank, Lisa and Karen, will have many tales to tell of their experiences with her.
Her participation (lasagna, baked beans, costumes, Chinese auction gifts, competitive spirit in athletic contests) at family reunions, hosted by Mike and Pat Davenport in Vermont, are legendary- and available on film. Memories spent with her in Maine and Florida are precious.
She was predeceased by John Leach, Kimberly McCormick, Charlie, Emily, Vint, Ellen, Tony and Jim Cassidy, Shirley, George and John Davenport, Betty Peck and Gary Hardisty.
The family would like to thank Liz Sandulli, the staff at The Villages at East Farms, including Carmella, Nana, Addie, Gladys, Shanayo, Emeilinda and Tina for loving care they gave her as she aged.
Calling hours are Saturday, Jan. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Carpino Funeral Home, 750 Main Street South, Southbury, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m. for immediate family only. To view the service remotely, please visit CarpinoCares.com. Burial will be private, and a memorial service will be at a later date_
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Woodbury Fire House, Woodbury Community Services or The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 4550 Montgomery Ave., Suite 1100N, Bethesda, MD 20814. To leave a message of remembrance, please visit CarpinoCares.com.