Born April 5, 1909, Gertrude Ramey grew up on a small farm near Morehead, Kentucky. One of six children, their lives were full of fun, with books, and songs, in a family that turned work into fun. Her life was almost “idyllic” until at age nine, Armistice Day (Nov 11, 1918), “Spanish Flu” killed her mother, her older brother Taylor, and her sister Margaret. The following spring she had a vision or dream that she would some day care for lonely children like herself. During World War II (1944), her dream came true, and citizens of Boyd County (Kentucky) rallied to help her open a Children’s Home. She wrote about her experiences hoping her friend, Jesse Stuart, would write a book about her life. But after Jesse’s heart attack in 1954, this project faltered. Then after forty-five years of caring for others, Gertrude totally collapsed and needed others to care for her. Amidst the background of a work in turmoil, her mission continued and her legend lives on.
By Dr. Robert Emerson French