Gertrude L. Fife was born in 1902 in Vermont and received her nurses training at Fanny Allen Hospital School of Nursing, Winooski, Vt. A 1925 graduate of Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in Cleveland, Ohio, Fife was appointed a member of the staff immediately upon graduation and was Agatha Hodgins’ first assistant. She was a charter member of the AANA; at the June 1931 organizational meeting of the AANA she made the motion that a national organization of nurse anesthetists be formed. She served as AANA’s second president in 1933-1935. Fife was instrumental in planning the first AANA annual meeting, which was held in Milwaukee in 1933. She published the first issue of the AANA Journal in 1933 and served as Journal editor and chair of the Publishing Committee until 1944. She also was AANA’s treasurer from 1935 to 1950.
Fife was appointed director of the University Hospitals of Cleveland (formerly Lakeside Hospital) School of Anesthesia in 1934 after Agatha Hodgins’ retirement; she served in that position and as director of University Hospitals’ anesthesia department until her own retirement in 1946.
She was the recipient of AANA's Award of Appreciation in 1950 and the Agatha Hodgins Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in 1978. Fife died on October 6, 1980.