Gertrude Ritter graduated from the Winchester High School in 1917. She took a postgraduate course there in 1917-1918. An accomplished pianist, she took violin lessons playing on her grandfather’s fiddle and played violin in the first high school orchestra in Winchester.
A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Randolph-Macon Women’s College in June 1922. After her graduation from R-MWC, she continued her education at the University of Virginia during the summer of 1924 and the American Academy at Rome, Italy during the summer of 1926. She married Alan Peery in 1929.
Miss Ritter was a member of the original faculty of Handley High School. She taught Latin from 1922 until 1954 when she became Assistant Principal in charge of guidance and the supervision of instruction. She retired as Assistant Principal in 1965.
During her 43 year career with Winchester Public Schools, Gertrude Ritter Peery was responsible for the preparation of a high school course of study and for the development of chapel program. She was faculty advisor for the Executive Council for 27 years, sponsor for six classes and a coach for girls’ basketball.
Mrs. Peery served as President of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women and President of Winchester Education Association. She was President of the Virginia Division of the Classical Association and a speaker before the National Classical Association at St. Louis, Missouri. She served on the Board of Directors of Randolph-Macon Women’s College.
She was a member of the Fredericktown Garden Club and Kiwanis Ki-wives. She was the Quota Club’s “Woman of the Year” in 1949.
She was an active member of Preservation of Historic Winchester, the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, the Shenandoah Arts Council, and the American Legion Auxiliary.
After her retirement, she and her husband traveled extensively. Mrs. Peery died in Winchester in 1988.