BARRHEAD - A longtime Barrhead resident and accomplished artist, Gerry Kruse, celebrated her 100th birthday on July 23 at the Barrhead Senior Citizen’s Drop-in Centre.
Gerry was surrounded by a couple dozen friends and relatives, as well as at least one former student who Gerry mentored when she worked as a schoolteacher. Her son Rick said they deliberately kept the celebration somewhat small at Gerry’s request.
“She said, ‘I don’t want a great big thing, because then I won’t be able to visit with everybody. I want to enjoy this,’” he said.
According to a hand-out at the event, Geraldine B. Horricks was originally born on July 24 in Forestburg, Alta., though her birthday celebration was hosted a day earlier.
She and husband Otto moved to Swan Hills from Erskine in 1963, and then moved to Barrhead in the early 1980s. She has lived in the Barrhead area ever since, moving into Hillcrest Lodge and then Shepherd’s Care.
Together, they had four children, including their eldest daughter Heather, their son Michael and their youngest child Kelly. She has numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Gerry has been profiled in the Barrhead Leader a number of times for her art. She began her career as a painter over 40 years ago when she took some art lessons in Swan Hills.
Since then, she has painted dozens of landscapes in the Barrhead and Swan Hills area, both on canvas and pieces of wood.
“Even at 100, she’s still painting lots,” Rick said.
In 2015, the Barrhead Leader reported that Gerry was the first instructor for the Hillcrest Art Club, which was founded over five decades ago.