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Gertrude Pauline Odle

June 10, 2019

Gertrude Pauline (Mankowski) (Shutes) Odle

June 11, 1925 – June 10, 2019


          South Bend- Gertrude Pauline (Mankowski) (Shutes) Odle, 93, passed away on Monday, June 10, 2019, in Wellbrooke of South Bend.

          Gertrude was born on June 11, 1925, in South Bend, IN, to Ignatious and Antonette (Walnajwicz) Mankowski. She was preceded in death by her parents; eight siblings; her husband, Bishop Odle, and nephew, Ken (K.C.) Conner.

          Surviving are her children, Cheryl (Roland) Barnes of Mishawaka and Larry Shutes of Bothell, WA; grandchildren, Kristen M. Barnes of South Bend, Dean (Michelle) Barnes of Mishawaka and Akosha Rowley of Bothell, WA; great-grandchildren, Lindsay Barnes of Bristol, IN, Tyshell Barnes of Indianapolis, IN, Kristen R. Barnes and Cody Barnes both of Mishawaka and two nephews, Terry (Sherry) Conner and Dave Conner both of South Bend.

          Gertrude retired from Goldbatts and the Sugar and Spice Candy Shop in 1985. She was the owner of the Lincoln Hiway Beauty Salon in Mishawaka for many years.

          Visitation will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 10:00 AM to 11 AM at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 59220 Bremen Hwy, Mishawaka, IN 46544. A Celebration of Life will follow at 11 AM at the church.

          Contributions in memory of Gertrude may be made to the Center for Hospice, 111 Sunnybrook Ct, South Bend, IN 46637.

          Memories of Gertrude will live on through her family and the love she shared with them will only grow with time.

          Cheryl, her daughter: How can I put into a few words what to remember about someone I have known my whole life! She was MOM – she adored flowers (receiving and planting them), she loved to cook (coming from a large Polish family she never knew how to cook small amounts) even when it was just her she cooked and shared with anyone around. In her younger days, she loved to dress up (spiked heeled shoes, matching purse, hat, and dress). She had a mean backhand with a large ring that was meant to connect with a young girl’s sassy mouth. OUCH! She worked at different jobs, Ford Hoppins at the old Oliver Hotel in South Bend, Spiegels Catalog Stores in Mishawaka and Elkhart as the manager of both. When she was 32/33 she started school at Vogue Beauty College in South Bend. Upon graduating with honors she opened her own shop out of our home. It was nice to come home from school and Mom was home. She remained working in her home shop for many years until arthritis in her hands caused her to close the shop. BUT did she retire? NO! She went on to work for Goldblatt’s Department Store in the Town and Country Shopping Center. When they closed she went on to work for Sugar and Spice Candy Shop in South Bend at the airport. When she could no longer do the day to day workload, she did payroll and banking from home. She finally truly retired at 85 years old! It was hard for her but she kept busy with the telephone – surprisingly it never melted from overuse. Mom was understandably upset to have to leave the home she was born in but soon came to call Wellbrooke of South Bend home. She loved the people that took care of her daily needs! She was given a record player and soon after closing her door some of the staff would join her for her dance parties in her room. She always kept miniature candy bars in her room on her dresser for the staff or anyone that stopped in. “Miss Gert,” was spoiled and loved by the staff for which I am truly grateful. I am also so very grateful for the Center for Hospice, especially Sara, who gave so much of herself for not only Mom but for myself and my family.

          We already miss her, life has now changed. Mom would not want us to grieve as those who have no hope but to have the assurance that we will be together one day. We will continue on with our memories, laughing at some of the silly things she would say, like “just GOOGLE it,” when she had no idea what it meant! We will cry at the empty place for Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, and birthday dinners. I love you, Mom. Wish you were still here with us, but so glad I had you as my Mommy!

          Dean, her grandson – Gram taught me my middle name – Dean Alan – I heard it often enough from her! Everyone knows if you hear a first and middle name together it usually means you’re in trouble.

          Kristen M., her granddaughter – Today (June 11) would have been my Grandma’s 94th birthday and I’m sitting here trying to get my head around the knowledge that she is not in the world with us anymore. She died very peacefully yesterday morning, the last day of her 93rd year and I think that’s exactly how she would have wanted it because she liked finished business and for the books to balance. She was a firm believer in finishing what she started so I think she would appreciate knowing that she finished her year fully without starting a new one and leaving it incomplete. I have been blessed to have my Grandma in my life for such a long time. She and I have been best buds for as long as I can remember. She’s been my hero and I’ve looked up to her, hoping to be like her in so many ways. People often tell me that I’m just like my Grandma and frankly that’s the best compliment anyone can give me. I will miss her every day for the rest of my life but I am so grateful for her and the gift of her love.

          Tyshell, her great-granddaughter – 1) She used to collect Highlight Magazines for me (about 20-30 at a time!) and send me magazine subscriptions but I never knew where they came from. 2) She always took an interest in my future such as owning my own salon like she did. 3) I remember her giving Lindsay and me a jar to catch the fireflies that covered her backyard. 4) I just think that her spirit went straight into the silly beautician figurine that was Gramma NoNo’s but is now on my station at work so she can see the work that I am doing. 

          To leave the family an online condolence, please visit www.hahnfuneralhomes.com.

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