My turn: Know any Rosies?

American Rosie the Riveter Association is looking for a few good stories — stories about the women of World War II who learned to be electricians, welders, riveters and more, keeping the country moving while the men were off fighting.

Here’s one of those ordinary, extraordinary stories:

Gertrude Lacey was a French-speaking Catholic school girl from New Hampshire. After the war broke out, when she was 17, she took a job building airplanes, then went to work as a welder in a shipyard.

She was introduced to both professions on the job.

After the war, she transitioned into the role of mom and Air Force wife, settling in eastern New Mexico.

Then when the kids were grown, she ventured outside the home again to become an agent and operator for Clovis’ Western Union. When a teenage boy and girl tried to rob the place, Gertrude objected.

According to her son, Keith Lacey of Clovis:

“She got a good chunk of the girl’s hair. They (robbers) didn’t get anything. They got arrested.”

Gertrude was in her 50s by then. She was 82 when she died last year. She was active in the Clovis-Portales Does and the Veterans of Foreign Wars auxiliary. She was married 61 years.

Her life should always be remembered, along with all the other Rosies.

Contact the ARRA’s Mabel Myrick by e-mail:

or by phone: 205-647-9233.