Gertrude Dock, (née Siegel) died in Cincinnati, OH on January 9, 2021 at the age of 90. She was born on February 10, 1930, to Benjamin Aaron Siegel and Dorothy (Hartman) Siegel, the eldest of two children and raised in Indianapolis. Her younger sister Loretta, five years her junior and Gertie were very close siblings. She graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in 1947 and The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in 1951 with a degree in Classical Piano Performance. She also attended Julliard School of Music at the age of 15. While her children were in college, at the age of 52 she earned her Master’s Degree in Piano Music Theory from Butler University College of Music. Well into her mid 70’s she maintained her piano skills as a private student of Menachem Pressler, a world renowned pianist and distinguished professor at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. He enjoyed giving his time to her, because he noted Gertie was a dedicated and gifted pianist with grace, perfection and flair. She was a lifelong learner and encouraged her family to be the same.
Gertie was married for 52 years to Bennie Dock, her loving life-long best friend until his passing in 2003. She was a very active community volunteer in organizations including Congregation Beth El Zedeck Temple sisterhood, President of the National Children’s Asthma Research Institute and Hospital (CARIH), the Jewish Welfare Fund, Eastern Star, and Matinee Musicale of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She taught music privately and in schools, volunteered as a girl scout leader, judged multiple Beethoven Music Competitions and World Piano Competitions, as well as transcribed music scores for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. She helped organize fundraisers and also was a piano accompanist to vocalists and played solo for multiple community fundraisers. Gertie and Bennie were welcoming hosts of Interlochen piano students, Indiana University School of Music professors and other guests in their home.
One of Gertie’s fondest memories was of her cheering staff, patients and families with festive holiday music solo piano performances at the Indianapolis Community Hospitals Network and St. Vincent’s Hospital during the holiday season. She delighted in arriving at 6:00 AM, played piano continuously for 2 hour intervals throughout the day, and repeated the performance for 3 consecutive days, annually for many years. She received more joy than she gave to those who delighted in listening to her music. For Gertie, the joy was all in the giving. Knowing that others benefited and enjoyed listening to her piano performances were what pleased her most.
Gertie gave piano recitals for various Mayors of Indianapolis as well as at the Governor’s Mansion. She was the recipient of the Key to the City in 1968 by Senator Richard Lugar, then the Mayor of Indianapolis. She made her family proud.
She impressed upon her family the importance, enrichment and benefits of the arts in the home and community. She and Bennie were patrons of the music and performing arts and especially the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for over 50 years. Her children were required to learn to play an instrument, dance or sing whether or not they were a natural. Music filled the home and Gertie made meaningful memories with music with loved ones and strangers.
Gertie embraced Judaism and its values, in particular how she role modeled honoring the elders in her family and in the community with dignity and respect. She looked after them with great compassion and care. Gertie’s most important accomplishment and greatest passion was to her family and raising five children. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, niece, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is survived by four of her five children, Dr Lainey Docque, Dr Murray (Anita) Dock, Patti (Fred) Heldman and Judy Kanter, seven grandchildren (Michelle, Robbie, Ashley, Matthew, Michael, Jeremy and Adam) and one great grandchild (Jordan). In addition to her husband, Gertie was predeceased by her daughter, Dr Linda Dock, who passed away in 2013. Her only sibling, Loretta (Mike) Hirsch passed away in March, 2020. She was also predeceased by her husband’s five siblings and their spouses. Gertie also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, 600 West 70th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, 45 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or the charity of one’s choice.
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Congregation Beth-El Zedeck
600 West 70th Street, Indianapolis IN 46260
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
45 Monument Circle, Indianapolis IN 46204
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