Nature 14

Gertrude "Gert" (Polston) Crago

April 24, 1923 ~ February 25, 2024 (age 100) 100 Years Old

Gertrude "Gert" Crago Obituary

Gertrude (Gert) Polston Crago passed away on February 25, 2024. She was 100 years and ten months old. She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Edward J. Crago, her mother and father, Maggie and John Polston, and her siblings, McKinley  (Red) Polston, Myrtle Soter, and John Polston. Gert was a mother to three children, Edward Crago, James Crago, and Sandy Chasteen, and Mother-in-law to Peggy Crago, Sue Crago, and L. David Chasteen. She was a grandmother to Nichols Crago, Angela Smith, Richie Crago (1963- 2021), Kecia Wherry, Tonya Scott, David Chasteen, Christina Qualls, and Jamie Crago, and great & great-great grandmother to several children. She had many nieces and nephews. She shared special and close relationships with her nieces, Cherry Morris and Helen Martin.
Gert entered the world on April 24, 1923, in Monroe, Wisconsin. She was born into poverty and lived during the Great Depression. Gert experienced tough times. However, she harnessed early life experiences to become a determined, talented, and successful businesswoman. Gert was the first person to franchise a convenience store in Ohio until she retired at age 57.  She spent the rest of her life enjoying life’s most precious gifts: her family, animals, and the natural beauty in her own backyard.  Gert especially loved the years she lived in Florida; she considered this time the best years of her life.
Gert was a fierce advocate for living life with just enough; she lived modestly and never wanted more than she had. Gert taught her immediate and extended family the most important lessons of gratitude, optimism, and hard work.  Gert possessed an uncommon blend of qualities: being tough, strong, and direct while doing so with elegance, grace, and kindness. She was legally blind but still lived independently and, even in her last days, tended to her yard while having conversations about current events and politics. Gert lived a long life but, more importantly, an uncommon life of courage. Very deeply loved and protected her family; she spoke to each of her three children daily and found a reason to laugh every single day until her last. She is no doubt continuing to do so as she looks down from heaven with her beloved mother, Maggie, siblings Red, Mert, John, and grandson Richie.
Last summer, she stood holding a ripe red tomato from her garden and recited from memory a poem to her great-granddaughter Lily that so captures her spirit…
The Butterfly upon the Sky,
That doesn't know its Name
And hasn't any tax to pay
And hasn't any Home
Is just as high as you and I,
And higher, I believe,
So soar away and never sigh
And that's the way to grieve -
Emily Dickinson.
A private family service will be held at Woodland Cemetery on Thursday afternoon February 29th.

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