Gladys, born in 1912, passed away yesterday at the age of 97. She was my father’s sister and when I was growing up, we would make the trek out to Olympia, Washington, every other year to visit her. Like my aunt Betty in California, Gladys moved to the west coast from South Dakota looking for opportunity.
Throughout her entire life, she was an amazing woman. She was organized, decisive, caring and deeply involved in her church. She was a driving force that even time and sickness couldn’t slow down. Diagnosed with cancer in her 70s, Gladys scheduled her treatments early in the morning so they wouldn’t conflict with her home visits to shut-ins and “real” sick people, as she liked to refer to them.
In 2004, Deb and I visited her and we watched in amazement as she stood behind her walker in the day room of her assisted living center and, at the age of 91, danced the Charleston. We laughed and applauded.
If any angel has a special place in Heaven, Gladys does. And she is no doubt entertaining all the other angels by dancing the Charleston.