July 10, 2017
SPARKS, NV – Ethel (Boots) Gerrard, 83, of Sparks NV, was welcomed into God’s kingdom on the morning of July 10, 2017 surrounded by family. Boots was born to John Rice and Edith Nah qua be April 5, 1934 in Gove County, Kansas. Boots was the baby of 4 sisters and 2 brothers all preceding her in death.
Boots was raised as a proud member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation learning of the important traditions of her tribe and getting into mischief and fun with her sister Mary.
Boots’ passion to help take care of others started when she attended nursing school right out of high school at St. Margaret’s Hospital School of Nursing in Kansas City, Kansas class of 1955. Boots was a lover of adventure and spontaneous road trips in her younger years, which led to her move to Reno, NV.
Here she worked for The Southwest Blood Bank. It was at the blood bank she met the father of her only child, Jack Gerrard, while he was donating blood. Jack and Boots were married June 28, 1958. December 6, 1958 they welcomed their son Jon C. Gerrard. Boots was a proud mother and took joy in watching and helping Jon participate in all of his sports and activities. Boots later moved on from her nursing career to dedicate 30 years of service to the Nevada State Health Lab.
Boots’ memory is not limited to only being a loving mother, nurse, good friend, or state employee; but, her life is highlighted in her contributions as a volunteer to the Nevada Humane Society, hours spent taking care of the legendary “Spot” the dog, helping her granddaughters achieve their life goals, and never failing to help a friend in need.
Boots blessed this world with a fiery spirit, straight shooting attitude, and comical personality that will always be remembered. She never met an animal she didn’t love or a lost soul she didn’t mind guiding.
Boots is survived by her loyal son Jon C. Gerrard and his wife Kathy Gerrard; Jon’s father Jack Gerrard; two granddaughters Alyda Larson and Nicole Herndon and their respective husbands; Clint Larson and Jason Herndon. Her great grandchildren who loved getting to know their GGB, Grant and Easton Larson. Along with many many friends she helped along the way.
Boots will be honored in a private burial and celebration of life ceremony with family and close friends preceded by a funeral fire burned in her honor back in Kansas per Potawatomi tradition. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to honor Boots’ dedication to saving animals by donating to your local humane society, SPCA, and/or favorite animal charity.
-Courtesy of the Reno Gazette-Journal: July 16, 2017.