Gertrude Perpall was a devoted fan of the New York Jets...

Gertrude Perpall was a devoted fan of the New York Jets and Notre Dame football.   Credit: Perpall family

For Gertrude Perpall, every penny counted.

As a bank teller, she spent extra time with her young customers. Known as Ms. Gert, she especially enjoyed teaching finance to youngsters in East Rockaway.

"Ms. Gert was so helpful when I was a young kid learning how to bank," said Joe Vito of East Rockaway, a longtime customer. "She made it personal. She was patient and helped us with our old bank book. I was a busboy and when I went to make a deposit, I made sure to be on the line for her window. She made an unforgettable impression."

Gertrude Perpall of Oceanside, who also worked for Sperry Gyroscope, a government defense contractor during World War II, died Oct. 27 at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre. She was 97.

"My mother loved to help people straighten out their checkbooks and paystubs back in the day of the pencil," said her son, Robert Perpall of Seaford. "She took great care of her customers. One time she closed her window to help two young men struggling to fill out a car loan application."

The young men were Jim Amen and Jerry Jewell, who became longtime educators in Nassau.

"They never forgot her kindness," Perpall said.

She was born Gertrude Marie Schimang in Roslyn and raised in Oceanside. She graduated from Oceanside High School in 1940. She eloped with her high school sweetheart, Claude Perpall, in 1941 before he went off to World War II as part of the Navy. They were married for 64 years.

"My parents met in junior high school and fell in love," Robert Perpall said. "She was attracted to athletes and he ran track and played basketball."

Her son said his mom was an avid reader, gardener, golfer and bowler, "and just a big-time sports fan her entire life."

Gertrude Perpall went to work for Sperry when her husband went to war. When he returned, the couple bought a house in Levittown in 1947 and started a family.

"They were proud to be Levittown originals," Robert Perpall said. "And my Dad went to work for Newsday as a Linotype operator as one of the original six in the Hempstead office."

Gertrude Perpall served as a Cub Scout den mother, and a Little League and youth football team mom/administrator. Her grandson, Peter Scott Perpall Jr., of West Islip, remembers her impact on him as a young sports fan.

"My grandma would take me to the baseball card shows in the Tri-County Mall in Levittown," he said. "We’d walk there every weekend. And we’d watch football games together. She loved the New York Jets and Notre Dame and turned me into a fan of both teams."

Lisa Rahaniotis of Lynbrook said her grandmother was vibrant in her later years.

"Her rare soul had an impact on us all," Rahaniotis said. "She was one of a kind, a very independent woman. She was always there to offer a helping hand, a real giver."

Rahaniotis said her son would often join Perpall to watch golf and her beloved Fighting Irish.

"It became routine for him to watch Notre Dame football on Saturdays and golf on Sundays," Rahaniotis said. "He loved his time with her."

Said Robert Perpall: "Her spirit epitomized a woman from the greatest generation."

Along with her son, Gertrude Perpall is survived by her daughter-in-law Margie Perpall of Seaford, nephew George Glier and his wife, Maggie, as well as four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Claude Perpall, her husband, died in 2005.

Donations can be made in her name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

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