Passed away on July 16, 2019
Gretchen Dyrssen, 86, of the Isle of Palms in Jacksonville Beach, FL, passed away July 16, 2019. She was born in Lexington, Missouri on July 12, 1933 to her parents Herbert and Mary Schenk. She had four siblings, a brother, John, who preceded her in death, and three sisters, Karen Morris, Gwen Trumbo and Linda Brillhart. Gretchen graduated from Lexington High School. She married her loving husband John Dyrssen on Nov. 1, 1953. Their marriage spanned 58 years until she lost John to cancer in 2011. She was a licensed beautician and worked in that filed prior to her marriage. She was a housewife and mother of three children. Her twin sons, Stephen and Paul preceded in her death. She is survived by her daughter, Mari and her son-in-law Charles Gear. She was truly blessed to have had the kindest son-in-law in the world. He looked after both John and Gretchen tirelessly in their in their declining years with no thought of himself. When Gretchen was younger, she had been a member of Beaches Garden Club, sharing with others her knowledge of Florida gardening. She also enjoyed painting and found tranquility expressing her creativity on canvas. She was an avid reader and inspired a love of reading in her children. As a stay-at-home mother, Gretchen was often the parent most likely to be shuttling neighborhood kids to the beaches or Ponte Vedra Club to swim or play tennis. After her husband’s passing, Gretchen’s wish to remain in her home was made possible with the help of caregivers from Home Instead Senior Care. She enjoyed almost four years of companionship and personal care from a very dedicated and caring team who looked after her around the clock. Many outstanding individuals participated in her care, but standouts that helped fill her life with love and care were Gloria Watts who was with Gretchen from the beginning; Maritza Tullock, who provided spiritual support and genuine loving care; Virginia Felder, whose professional knowledge of geriatric care helped keep her healthy; and Maria Mora Garcia, who shared genuine warmth and kindness and always had a cup of genuine Costa Rican coffee. The family would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Amer Shala and his staff for providing exemplary medical care that helped maintain the quality of her life during her last years. Gretchen asked that she be remembered with donations to Community Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeast Florida.