Obituary of Ann H. Gernstl
Ann H. Gernstl (89) went peacefully to be with the Lord on December 24th, 2023. She was born in 1934 to Edmund and Agnes Graham and grew up in the Western New York countryside where she attended a one room schoolhouse along with her brothers: Richard, Donald, Edmund Jr., and her sister Adele. She worked at O-Cel-o as a switchboard operator until becoming a wife and mother. In 1972 she and her husband moved to a farm in Bliss, NY. After retirement she and her husband relocated to Arcade, NY.
Ann’s family members all have different memories which define who they were to her. She opened her heart and home in Bliss to foster children, farm cadets, her nephews during the summer, and hunters during the fall. One of her favorite activities with the children (and later her grandchildren) was exploring nature by walks through the wooded forests and the along the creeks. Her belief in God was extremely strong and gave her faith; she always saw the good in people and would stand by those who had made mistakes.
Ann loved to find bargains and was passionate about couponing, rewards points, and basket raffles. She was fond of brightly colored patterned tops with coordinated color pants, and never left the house without her lipstick applied and her hair coifed to perfection. Ann was a loving and devoted mother. She loved to share that she had seven sons and a daughter, who she called her “reward” for raising all of those boys. Ann loved butterflies and her favorite hymn was “In the Garden”.
Ann truly loved the Lord and sought to serve him. Helping people brought her the greatest joy. Ann was always an active member of her community; often acting as secretary or treasurer for the various organizations with which she involved, volunteering with the Wyoming County Department of Social Services & Office of the Aging, and The Christian Community Care Center. Her long-time ministry which spanned decades was served through the Arcade Area chapter of the Salvation Army, helping to raise money through the annual Red Kettle Drive and then distributing funds throughout the year for local residents in need.
She was a member of St. Josephs Parish in Bliss until joining Freedom Baptist Church in 1985, attended Ladies’ Luncheons at Odosagih Bible Conference in Machias every Tuesday in the summer, and enjoyed visiting various local churches for worship events and dinners throughout the year. In her later years she also enjoyed congregating with the local homemaker’s group, Arcade Senior Citizens Club, Delevan Nutrition, and Pioneer Seniors.
Ann was preceded in death by several family members: her parents, siblings, husband John, son Roger, and grandson Jonathon. She is survived by her children Tracy, Terry, Michael, Anton, Douglas, Hansl, and Heidi; as well as 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Freedom Baptist Church in Freedom, NY, The Salvation Army, or The Alzheimer’s Association.
Ann knew her life’s purpose was to be kind and serve, and would want those who loved her to do the same. Galatians 5: 22-25 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.