Gertrud Magdalena Kraenkel was born on April 8, 1922 in Czechoslovakia to Josef and Anna Gahn. Gertrud went to her heavenly home on January 6, 2018.
She met her late husband John Kraenkel, from Amtzell Germany when they became pen pals during World War II. They were married in 1953 and migrated to the United States in 1955, buying property and a home in Los Altos, where they raised their son Johnny and opened the Black Forest Inn restaurant. Gertrud remained a Los Altos resident for the next 63 years.
John and Gertrud opened The Black Forest Inn in Los Altos and it became one of the most popular restaurants in the area, known for its authentic German food, homemade pies, and beer-garden. Gertrud did all the baking and the Black Forest Inn became famous for her apple pie, cheesecake and baked custard. The demand for her pies and cakes were so strong they would only sell slices, not whole pies so they could please as many customers as possible. She was also an accomplished (self-taught) painter and adorned the windows and walls of The Black Forest Inn with wonderful paintings and German landscape murals. John and Gertrud sold the Black Forest in 1968 and enjoyed a quiet life in Los Altos.
Gertrud was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She was a woman of strong faith and a keen sense of humor, telling jokes up to her last days. Not only was she a caring family woman but a loyal friend to many. Gertrud is survived by her son, grandson and great-grandson.
A memorial service will be offered for Gertrud on Friday, February 9th 11am at Saint Williams Parish in Los Altos, CA. Following the memorial, her Interment will be held at Gate of Heaven cemetery in Los Altos, CA. Gertrud’s life will be celebrated with a reception at Saint Williams Parish following the Interment.