Erskine, Germaine R.
March 16, 1924 – April 20, 2017
Germaine Rutten Erskine (Gerry), beloved wife, mother, sister, and grandmother, passed away on April 20, 2017, at Coronado Retirement Village in Coronado, California, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Gerry was predeceased by her husband, Paul, who died in 1987.
Paul and Gerry Erskine were active and devoted members of the Rossmoor-Los Alamitos community in North Orange County, where Gerry published the weekly News-Enterprise for more than 20 years. Gerry is survived by sons John (Diane) of Huntington Beach, Tom (Gwen) of Paso Robles, James (Molly) of Coronado, and Bill (Laurie) of Cocoa, Florida, as well as 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Born in Devils Lake, North Dakota, to Henry and Catherine Rutten on March 16, 1924, Gerry was the 12th of 13 children, and grew up on the family farm. Following her older siblings to California after high school, she met Paul Erskine at the Southern California Gas Company, where both worked as accountants, and married Paul in 1950.
Eventually settling in the new community of Rossmoor in 1959, Gerry and Paul were leaders in the Rossmoor Homeowner’s Association and published the Rossmoor Homeowner’s News. When the opportunity presented itself in 1965 to purchase the Los Alamitos-based weekly Enterprise newspaper, the News-Enterprise was the result. While Paul was commuting to Sacramento after promotions to Director level at the State Franchise Tax Board in the late 70’s, Gerry managed the paper and expanded the weekly publication to 4 editions and over 30,000 paid subscriptions.
Gerry was an active participant in the North Orange County business community, serving as a Board Member and President of the Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce where she was honored as 1993 “Woman of the Year,” 67th Assembly District Woman of the Year in 2002, and served in the late 80’s as an elected member of the Rossmoor Community Services District. Gerry also participated in the American Cancer Society and on numerous non-profit Boards, including the Precious Life Shelter.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Hedwig Catholic Church in Los Alamitos on Friday, May 5, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Precious Life Shelter are appreciated (PO Box 414, Los Alamitos, CA 90720) www.preciouslifeshelter.org.
Erskine, Germaine R.