September 19, 1919 – August 11, 2013
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
On August 11th, a beautiful Sunday morning, Gladys Light passed on from this world to join her husband and other loved ones in heaven. Until just one week before her death, Gladys was up and around and enjoying her friends and family.
She lived a life of truth, kindness, generosity and service to others.
Gladys was born to Carrie (Wold) Funk and Ira Funk, on September 19, 1919, in Denbigh, North Dakota. “Sis” had six siblings: Frances, Orval, Alice, Hazel, Dorothy and Lucille.
Life was hard in rural North Dakota and Gladys dreamed of graduating high school and “going West” to find a good job so that she could get her family out of poverty. She was a shy person and it must have taken great courage for her to fulfill that dream by leaving McHenry County for the first time, at age 19, and taking the train to Seattle. But, in 1938, she did it! And, over time, her parents and younger siblings were able to join her.
Upon arriving in Seattle, Gladys was hired as a riveter at the Boeing Company, a clerk at Sears, then as a waitress at the Georgetown Pharmacy, where she worked at the lunch counter and served coffee on occasion to a young man named Bill Light, who would become her husband in 1952. Much later in life, she worked part-time as a caregiver for elderly women.
Gladys was a private person. She did not profess her religion to others – she modeled it through her actions. Though she was not a church member, she was baptized as a Christian shortly after coming to Seattle.
In 1953, Gladys and Bill welcomed their first daughter, Dorothy Neva “Bunnie”, and in 1961, they welcomed their second daughter, Noreen May “Kittie”.
Gladys was a full-time homemaker while her girls were growing up and she was a wonderful mom. She was also a good daughter, becoming a caregiver for her own mother in her mother’s later years. But of all the roles she played, most would probably agree that her favorite role of all was being a grandmother to Shawn (Katye’), Kristi (David), Kevin and Keith and great-grandmother to Tyler, Austin, Olivia and Justice.
Everyone was welcomed to Gladys’ home with freshly-baked bread and cakes, and there was always a hot pot of coffee. She had a way of making simple experiences special. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the deck was a “picnic”; if there was cake it was a “party.” She made each child feel special because she believed they were.
Gladys was an artist who painted with oils, acrylics and water colors, sewed quilts and comforters, designed and crafted clothing (including entire wedding party attire) and blessed many of her family and friends with personalized gifts of her work. She and her mother busied themselves through several winters making quilts by hand, out of old wool skirts she purchased at the thrift store. When these were lovingly completed, Gladys took them to the mission, to tent cities, and to people living along the banks of the Puyallup River.
Gladys lived a long and healthy life. She was a nearly-lifelong vegetarian (though she made an exception for fish!) who gave up driving at the age of 48 and simply walked everywhere. She did not drink or smoke, and kept up her bit of exercise and short walks until the end.
Gladys was predeceased by her husband in 2009. She is survived by her daughter Bunnie Light; daughter Noreen Light and son-in-law Bob Billings; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and, her loving sister, Hazel
To honor Gladys’ life, please consider feeding the hungry; clothing the poor; visiting or writing those imprisoned, homebound, or lonely; and then sit down and read with a child. There is nothing that would please her more.
A short service will be held on Tuesday, August 20th, at 11:00am, at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 Southeast 240th St, Kent, WA 98042-4868 (425.413.9614)
Following the service, we will have lunch and informal sharing of favorite memories of Gladys at her sister Hazel’s home in Puyallup. Please call 360.426.6004 for the address.
Further details and condolences at www.KlontzFuneralHome.com