Gladys was baptized by D.P. Schultz at the EMB church in 1936. In her early hears Gladys attended District 80 country School. She later attended Grace Bible Institute in Omaha for two years. She taught Bible School and was instrumental in helping her sister Vernelle become a Christian. Sister Vernelle came to help Gladys when daughter Vernelle Joane was born.
When Gladys and Clarence were dating, Charles often teased his older sister by hiding letters Clarence sent her, resulting in a chase around the house! Gladys, as an older sister, helped raise Vernelle and Charles when their mother was ill.
Gladys and her sister Augusta enjoyed playing the marimba as teenagers and were sad when they parted after their double wedding. Gladys and Esther Friesen (Mrs. Rueben H.) played marimba and violin at Bethesda and in the community. At Bethesda, Gladys taught Sunday school, participated in Mission Circle, and enjoyed singing in the Women’s choir. On Oct. 6, 1946, Gladys married Clarence E. Friesen at Marion, S.D. They were blessed with 64 years of marriage and six children: Vernelle, Glenyce, Sylvia, Janlee, Delton and Eileen.
She is survived by her six children and their families: Vernelle and Jerry Epp of Henderson, Jeff and Lindsay Epp and Brent, Jocelyn and Anna Epp. Glenyce and Robert Larsen of Bloomington, Ind., Brigitta and Chris Powers and children, Gregory, Philip and Lucy, Erik and Christy Larsen and children, Erin, Jessica and Samantha, Rakel Larsen, Cliff Larsen and financé Rachel McCaslin. Sylvia and Dan Rogers of Nampa, Idaho, Jonathan Rogers, Andrew and Mieke Rogers and children Alex, Jace and Seth, Heidi Rogers, Lori and Largent Reeb. Janlee and Audrun Siebert of Milford, Traci and Kevin Chambers and Chloe, Mark and Lisa Siebert, Collin and Andrea Larsen and children, Ava, Marin and Malacai, Kendra Larsen, Amanda and Chris Cauley and Justin Larsen. Delton and Colleen Friesen of Grand Island, Emily Friesen and Luke Friesen. Eileen and Gary Rahn of Loveland, Ohio, Jared and Shannon Rahn, Heather and Jonathan Wanner and Ethan, and Kayla Rahn.
Gladys is also survived by one sister Vernelle (Irvin) Ewert; brother, Charles (Evelyn) Duerksen and sister-in-law Eunice Duerksen.
Preceding her in death were her husband; parents; sister, Augusta Schultz; brothers, Robert and Alvin Duerksen; sister-in-law, Ardella Duerksen; son-in-law, Roger Larsen and grandson Jeremy Larsen.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014 at Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson. Interment will be in the Buller Cemetery southeast of Henderson. Visitation will be from 1-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the mortuary in Henderson. The family will greet friends Sunday evening from 6-8 p.m.
Memorials may be directed to Bethesda Mennonite Church Missions or Grace Children’s Home.