Gertrude Shurr, 88, a modern American dancer who performed with such legendary companies as Martha Graham and Denishawn. A native of Latvia, she came to the United States as a young girl and attended San Francisco State College and the University of Oregon before moving to New York, where she studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, both then with Denishawn. She assisted Graham in choreography and created roles in "Heretic," "Primitive Mysteries," "Bacchanale" and "American Lyric." After leaving Graham in the late 1930s, she opened a studio in New York City, where her students included Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, who later founded the Joffrey Ballet. She retired and taught in Utah and New York and directed a New York studio with fellow Graham alumnus May O'Donnell. Miss Shurr once estimated that she had taught at least one-third of the dancers working in today's modern dance idiom. In Tucson on Thursday.