Published March 27, 2020

MELROSE — Gertrude (Noonan) Hirschfeld, 95, of Melrose passed away on Friday, March 13, 2020 at her home. She is the wife of the late William W. Hirschfeld. 

Gert was born January 26, 1925 in Medford, only daughter of the late Thomas P. and Mary E. (Collins) Noonan. She was raised in Medford and graduated from Medford High School and Fisher College in Boston.

Born in the Roaring 20’s and growing up during the Depression, Gert was the youngest and always protected by Tom, Bob and Buddy, her three big brothers. She enjoyed dancing, listening to “the ballgame” on radio and horseback riding. These skills came in handy as a one-woman fan club attending recitals, countless sporting events and raising a large herd.

During World War II, Gert was employed by the B&M Railroad. The Greatest Generation is known for quiet humility and she was no exception. She waited and prayed through more than a thousand days of active combat, until her brothers returned home safely to build careers and families.

From WWII to WWW, her life was filled with people. Ever-present kindness and unconditional love welcomed people from a range of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds into her family. What started as a dinner for two in 1947 became “let’s try to keep it less than 50” for holiday meals at her home.

Many recall the social protests and political turmoil of 1968, but Gert had an additional tragedy that November after her husband’s car accident. In a week, the love of her life was gone and she was alone with no license, no job and 10 children.

As a long time parishioner at Incarnation Church, strong faith sustained her remarkable love and loyalty to family.

Gradually, peeks of sunshine returned because Gert never met a beach she didn’t like. Before the days of online booking, she “volunteered” to help her travel agent friend Nicky Hamel tour many tropical islands, made dozens of trips to Florida with family, Nahant days with Gert McGinty and especially liked her driveway resort of two chairs facing the sun with good friend Peg Leahy.

At age 57, when most people consider retirement, Gert began a 35-year career with Dr. Maury Goldman until finally retiring at age 92 (not a typo). She liked people more than money and especially loved getting know the patients and their families. None are really sure how she remembered all the details, but her sincere concern for others had no limits.

She is survived by all ten of her children – Nancy Donovan and her husband Richard of Melrose, Michael Hirschfeld and his wife Patricia of Wilmington, Jane Di Mambro and her husband Louis of Salem, Mark Hirschfeld of Melrose, Thomas Hirschfeld and his wife Cecily of Winchester, Peter Hirschfeld and his wife Joanne of Norwood, Joseph Hirschfeld and his wife Elizabeth of Hampstead, Jean De Young and her husband James of Melrose, William Hirschfeld and his wife Joy of Melrose and Paul Hirschfeld and his wife Shari of Medfield. She is also survived by 24 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and is further survived by several nieces and nephews.

Graveside committal service and interment was already held at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. In the future, a funeral Mass will be scheduled at Incarnation Church. In lieu of memorial contributions, please take special care of the health of family and loved ones, as an acknowledgment of the good she brought to this world. Please feel free to send a note to family members, drop a card at the funeral home or send a message of online condolence by visiting