Roy and Gloria Gjertsen

Published 10:22 pm Saturday, April 14, 2012

Roy and Gloria Gjertsen are this week’s Picayune Item Super Senior. From Roy’s humble family missionary beginnings in New Orleans, La., and Gloria’s start in Picayune, the Gjertsen’s have had a number of careers in their 80 plus years.

Roy served his country as a Marine Drill Sergeant for 22 years before retiring to Picayune. He received his degree in art from the University of Southern Miss. From there he taught art at Picayune Memorial High School and went on to work as a cartoonist for the Pearl River Journal. For over 20 of those years in Picayune he was a Picayune Police sketch artist and owner of Roy’s Gym which they built behind their home.

Gloria was a nurse and served the community throughout the years, raised a family and taught classes at their gym which she also helped operate.

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The couple met when she was working as a nurse helping care for his mother, who was recovering from cancer. Gjertsen came home on emergency leave to find his mother in a Baptist Hospital New Orleans with his photo (in dress blues) by her bed and her beautiful nurse who knew all about him. It turned out to be a match made in Heaven with a little help from Gjertsen’s mom. The couple will celebrate their 60th Anniversary in May of this year.

The Gjertsen’s passion for life, learning and pursuit of excellence are an example to all who know them. With mutual support and respect, through it all, they have had the adventures of traveling all over the world and building a family of three children,  four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren who share a deep faith, conviction and love.

In a home which showcases beautiful artwork by Gjertsen and souvenirs of their life-long adventures which include sabres, awards, scrapbooks of accomplishments and lots of family photos, there is much laughter and stories to tell.

The couple faithfully attend Roseland Park Baptist Church.

The “Picayune Item” thanks the Gjertsens for being this week’s Super Seniors and sharing their life with the community.