Nan Pedersen Williams, 95; Served As Marines Truck Driver During WWII

IN MEMORIAM: Nan Pedersen Williams, 95;

Served As Marines Truck Driver During WWII

MILFORD – Nan G. Pedersen Williams, 95, who served in the Marines as a truck driver during World War II, passed away Sunday morning, Dec. 8, 2019, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

She was born Nan Jeanette Gerling on June 7, 1924, at Community Hospital in Montclair, N.J., the daughter of John and Edith (Saxton) Gerling.

For the first six years of her life she lived in East Orange, N.J. After the death of her father and grandfather Gerling, Nan’s widowed mother moved to Westville, where she had been born 40 years earlier, and purchased the store there, which she ran for three years.

Nan continued to live the rest of her life in Otsego County, and attended schools in Westville, Laurens and Milford, graduating from Milford High School in 1942. He first jobs were at defense plants in Sidney and on Dietz Street in Oneonta.

On Oct. 23, 1944, Nan enlisted in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve Battalion,  where she was placed in a motor transport school and served as a truck driver. Private Gerling received her Honorable Discharge from the military on Aug. 11, 1945.

Upon her return to Otsego County, Nan met Leon Pedersen, and they were married in February 1946. They had two children, Gordon R. Pedersen, who died in an automobile accident at the age of 22 on Feb. 7, 1970, and Alana who now lives near Westford. Leon died Feb. 27, 1975.

For many years, Nan was employed at SUNY Oneonta in the bakery and food service department, and later worked in the Milford Central School cafeteria until her retirement. She then spent many years travelling and spent six years in Florida as a winter resident.

On Dec. 17, 1994, she married George R. “Bud” Williams, and spent 10 years learning about big family life. Bud died December 23, 2004.

Nan was a charter member of the Milford American Legion Auxiliary, the Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., and was a member of the Susquehanna Senior Citizens of Milford and the Westville United Methodist Church. She loved being with family and friends, and enjoyed sewing, crocheting, quilt making and trying to play the organ.

In addition to her son and two husbands, she was predeceased by a stepdaughter, Janet W. Bloodgood, in 2007, a brother, Raymond G. Gerling, in 2000, and a sister, Caroline Gerling Burtis.

Survivors include Alana and Robert Williams, Jeffrey Williams of Westford, and Christy and Alex Wood of Tonawanda; nine grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren; her extended family, Sue Williams of Niskayuna, Sandy and Lee Hillis of Minnesota, Bill and Kathy Williams of Pennsylvania, Deb and Ron Kapushinski of Connecticut, and special friends Richard and Iva Couse of Portlandville.

Family and friends may call 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut St., Cooperstown.

A Funeral Service will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at the Westville United Methodist Church, 2706 County Highway 35, Schenevus (Westville) with Pastor Rose Bellen, officiating.

Interment will be in the spring of 2020 in Milford Center Cemetery, where Nan will be laid to rest with her first husband and their son.

At the request of the family, they respectfully ask that flowers NOT be sent due to floral allergies within the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Westville United Methodist Church c/o Donna-Gene Francis, 1024 State Highway 166, Cooperstown, NY  13326.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.


One thought on “Nan Pedersen Williams, 95; Served As Marines Truck Driver During WWII

  1. Bob Gould

    Aunt Nan was a special lady. Always greeted you with a smile and a genuine love and interest in how life was treating you. Great child hood memories of playing Double Pinochle with Aunt Nan and Uncle Pete. She was a beautiful lady and a wonderful person. RIP

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