Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Gerda Styles

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Gerda Styles

Article excerpt

"She was very, very political, but unfailingly polite," says one of Gerda Styles' friends, also a beneficiary under her will. He added, "She passionately supported the Washington Report. We argued about that."

There is little that is extraordinary about the life of Gerda Petersen Styles' life, except her unswerving attachment to justice and her deep concern for the defenseless. When she died last spring in New York, she was just short of her 88th birthday.

A nurse by profession, she had come to America nearly 60 years ago from her birthplace in Copenhagen, Denmark. There her father owned and operated a large bakery which for many years supplied the Danish royal family with baked goods. A brother was a Lutheran bishop.

After she arrived in the US, she married an American veteran of the Spanish-American War. He died 12 years before her.

Long before her retirement at age 70, Gerda Styles had begun to write letters of praise or complaint to government officials. After her retirement, she wrote regularly to editors and officials at various levels of government, including the governor of New York. …

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