Gladys A. Martin
Born: 3/18/1927, Clinton, Oklahoma
She survived to have her feet and legs put into braces for club feet which allowed her to excel in dance, sports and in life. It was the Great Depression and her family had nothing but a small farm house, furniture of a long wood table, two benches and bed mattresses that 3 children each slept on. To get food, they had to wait in lines for hours, with all the other farmers, to receive a package of government offerings. When lunchtime arrived at school, the family went home with no food to eat until dinner because they didn’t want other people to know their plight. Their favorite meal was bread and gravy and bread pudding that was also gravy and bread. One day, Mom remembered that the lady and her daughter living with them discussed what they had to eat for the 9 of them - nothing. Suddenly a chicken walked across their yard. The tenant lady saw a large washer, threw it at the chicken and killed it outright. They didn’t ask and hoped no one would ask about the chicken that wasn’t theirs. Dinner with meat! The family, for extended periods, waited for word from their father who traveled as a “hobo” by train all over the Midwest, north and east to find any work that would feed his family, but there were few jobs and temporary. The final time her dad came home to the farm, he asked her mother to ‘wait one more time’ while he went to California to try to find work with his eldest daughter Faye. He found work, and one year later the family packed the one suitcase into a car they were transporting for a buyer in California, a driver, her mother, and 6 kids to a mill in the California desert. Her father was a supervisor and was able to build one of the few houses amongst many tents for other families. Her mother was a self-taught midwife/nurse who nursed her children and many other people through severe illnesses, back to health, to survive and thrive in their lifetimes.
Gladys was 9 when she arrived, but the school mistook her as kindergarten age due to her small size. She ended up being 5’ 6” after getting a few years of substantial food. With their new found “affluence” and WWII having sent her 4 brothers abroad, they sought to aid the military men and families by providing a weekend place for them to sleep, commune, and eat heartily for up to 26 people including the family. My mother bought her own furniture for her room with earnings by cleaning houses and caring for children from the time she was 9, then became an usher for the town movie theater, but she was never able to use the room or furniture due to the popularity of their home by military personnel and families that did fully appreciate her bedroom.
When she was 18, she suffered faintings. The doctor found she was severely anemic and probably still suffered from prior malnutrition issues giving her 6 months to live without intervention, then insisted on 3 years of treatment and not to marry her fiance until finished. She married my father after the 3 years and in another 2 years had me. She overcame many health obstacles, mastered marital and business economics, helped numerous family members and friends with life’s issues and was treasured by her parents, 6 siblings, Mother & Father-in-laws, aunts, nieces, nephews, friends and co-workers. She was a working mother, wife, and life coach for family and friends. Her life always was guided by Spirit and as she realized her own personal relationship in this realm, she imparted this to me and my father where we did the same.
We began coming into Moab and the large surrounding wilderness in 1956 to discover the rough, beautiful, and wonderful terrain and wildlife. We would go out for a week, come into town to stay at the Apache Motel, clean up, buy food, fill water jugs, get gas and go out for another week of camping. It was magical. In 1981 they bought property against the cliffs in Spanish Valley for $700, installed a beautiful mobile home, planted trees and encouraged wildlife to come to them. They continued to travel and discover all the places they could in this area and never got bored in 33 years. Every day they had breakfast at the “Westerner”, Smitty’s, Moab Diner or later Denny’s, then a ride to see the sights.
You might remember Gladys for being an Avon Lady. She is also memorable for how she dressed with her blond hair braided and up, her jewelry, outfits, with her matching cute shoes. She always stated that “first I dress for God, my husband, then for myself, and then for everyone else, that they might find a smile on their face and appreciate the day even better”.
Her motives were pure, integrity was absolute, and although she might judge actions, she never judged the soul which was God’s own.
She is succeeded by her daughter Susan, nieces/nephews, Lanell, JR, Karen, Virginia, Phyllis, Beverly, Raj, Phillip, Hartford and all their offspring and many other close family and friends.
Gladys would ask that any gifts be given to our community to support those that work but cannot earn enough to effectively provide for themselves and their families. Thank You all who have treated her so well and respected her personally. Thanks to the restaurants, Moab Diner, former Smitty’s, Denny’s, Moab Grill, Schechuan, Fiesta Mexicana, Sunset Grill and Singha Thai, that have crews who know how to show kindness, support, consideration and outright fun.
This community has so much to draw from and we support the various groups that provide to others and thank each of you for your volunteerism.
Thanks to Moab Regional Hospital for caring for her in the attempts to set her forth again to live another day, her way. The nurses are exemplary and our doctor was fully supportive of her.
CNS has been exceptional in caring for Gladys during hospice and sought to provide comfort and personal care for the body that was failing while attending to the Spirit also. Thanks to Paula, Ti, Nancy, Marilyn the chaplain, and Carole their volunteer. You gave both of us relief and comfort.
Thanks to Eldercare, Patrice and Diana, for their personal attention, working with Gladys, and me, to improve our energy, environment, and attitudes, not to mention playing cards. And, I thank Mona for enjoying Gladys and filling time with card games. If anyone can remember her card tricks I’d like to get the instructions. Thanks to Jim Nelson and family, Peter, Ted, Vern and Lanell’s family, who have provided support to make it possible for Gladys to enjoy improvements in her home to enter, exit, and safely move on her lovely property. Thanks to the folks that kept us moving safely, Chips Grand Tire, Arches.
Thanks to the many, many friends that ‘made her day’ so often.
God’s Blessings to All.
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