Gertrude M. Lorentzen (1911 - July 11, 2002) was a member of the West Hartford Board of Education for 50 years. She was born in 1911 to Thomas Lorentzen and Julia Schug. After graduating from high school in West Hartford, she became a secretary of Morley School and Alfred Plant Junior High School. She remained an elementary school secretary throughout the 1930's. A tragedy occurred on October 23, 1931, however, when her older sister, Lillian N. Lorentzen, was killed by a drunk driver while the two exited a trolley on Farmington Avenue at Trout Brook in West Hartford. At the age of 20, she witnessed the accident.
In September 1940, she was named as secretary for the Superintendent of Schools, Lloyd H. Bughee. By the late 1940's, she was a typing instructor for students in the town, which offered courses such as typing or Spanish for beginners.
In the summer of 1959, her brother, Thomas, died at the age of 51 in North Woodstock, Connecticut, leaving his wife, Dorothy Kelley. On January 19, 1964, Lorentzen represented the secretarial staff at the Career Night at Hall High School in West Hartford. In June 1965, her father, Thomas, died at the age of 82 in West Hartford, leaving her mother, Julia, who died in February 1968 at the age of 89. In the latter half of the 1970's, Lorentzen retired from service in the Board of Education. In October 1980, her brother, John Edward Lorentzen, died at the age of 66, having lived in the Hartford area all his life prior to moving to Florida.
Lorentzen lived for decades in her home at 79 Somerset Street until she died at Manchester Memorial Hospital on July 11, 2002, at the age of 91.