In memoriam: Ann Strauss Gertler


Ann Gertler was 94 when she died at the end of April. In the newspaper notice of her death, she was characterized as a “determined and passionate advocate for peace, abolition of war and nuclear weapons, tireless promoter of international solutions especially through the UN, consultant to government delegations and peace organizations in Canada and internationally.… Ann worked alongside Muriel Duckworth, Nancy Pocock, Kay McPherson, Simone Monet Chartrand, Murray Thomson, Diana Wright, Ursula Franklin, Douglas Roche, Jeanne Sauvé and many others against war and for sane foreign policy.”

Ann was active with Project Ploughshares. For years she was the Ploughshares representative at the United Nations in New York and Geneva. She was involved in the local Ploughshares group in Montreal. Her Ploughshares colleagues remember her with gratitude and respect:

From Ploughshares co-founder Ernie Regehr:

Ann was for many years a member of the Board of Project Ploughshares—a deeply committed, energetic advocate for another way. Of course, that was but one of the many places and contexts in which her voice was influential and her example inspirational.

From Bev Delong, member of Ploughshares Calgary:

Ann Gertler was a wonderful influence on my life. She encouraged me to join the Board of Project Ploughshares. I recall her calling for us to widen our goals beyond nuclear disarmament to abolition of war. I also recall Ann telling me that one of the proudest moments of her life was walking through the streets of New York City among the one-million-person march on July 12, 1982 held to encourage progress at the UN Second Session on Disarmament. I will miss her persistence, wisdom, and expertise!

From Phyllis Creighton, former member of the national Ploughshares Board:

Ann was passionate, utterly committed to the vision that it’s time to abolish war. Persistent and stubborn, she made a real difference in many places, including the Voice of Women. Alive with ideas and eager to support others, she was also a good friend. Ann will long be remembered with gratitude and love.

From Debbie Grisdale, member of the Ploughshares Governing Committee:

A wonderful and impassioned voice for peace and the abolition of war and nuclear weapons has gone silent—on Earth, anyway.

Published in The Ploughshares Monitor Volume 38 Issue 2 Summer 2017

Spread the Word