Gladys Strom Gardner

Gladys Strom Gardner, 97, of Los Angeles, California, passed away April 16, 2014 in Santa Monica, CA. Gladys was born on December 27, 1916 to John and Mary Strom in Duluth, MN.

Her parents had each emigrated to the United States from Forsby, Finland | in the Swedish part | around 1909, but had met and married in Duluth. Gladys attended Denfeld High School and graduated in the class of 1935. She was an excellent student, with a particular talent for mathematics; she was also vivacious and active in school. For these qualities she was elected Denfeld School Queen in 1935.

< Gladys had a older sister, Ingrid, who was also a Denfeld graduate (class of 1931); Ingrid went on to earn her Ph.D. and become a professor of English education at Indiana University. Gladys' younger brother, Melvin, graduated from Denfeld in 1939 but was killed in World War II; his plane was shot down during a bombing mission over the oil fields of Ploesti, Romania. >

Gladys attended the (then) Duluth State Teachers' College before moving to California to attend U.C.L.A. She met Newell John Gardner there in 1939; they married in San Antonio, TX on May 9, 1942 while he was an aviation cadet, shortly before he saw service in World War II. Gladys worked in the southern California aerospace industry, for Douglas and Hughes Aircraft Companies, during World War II and after-wards. She scored highest on an I.Q. test in her section at Douglas and was offered a job at Los Alamos just after the war, which she declined because she was expecting John to return. He did, and her continued employment helped put him through law school at U.C.L.A. She became a full-time homemaker once her daughter, Susan, was born in 1961. Gladys was a wonderful mother to Susan, showering her with love and emotional support her entire life. She was also an exceptionally curious person, interested in everything around her, and a lifelong learner. Susan credits this outlook, along with her mother's high standards for accuracy of fact and statement of precise thought, to her own formation as a scientist. Gladys also had an marvellous, life-long, eidetic memory; she was capable of reaching out of time to recall either recent incidents or those decades past with lush detail. Her extended family relished her ability to tell stories of times long past, and to be a living record of family history. She was generous, kind, and extraordinarily fair. All these qualities were inculcated in her by her parents. After John passed in 1984, she lived quietly, enjoying her garden, until she reunited with Denfeld friend and classmate Elmer Green in 1996. They talked and travelled intensively from then on, travelling nearly every major highway in the United States, and even some in Canada. She delighted in the addition of a son-in-law, Wolfgang Korsch, in 1998.

Gladys is preceded in death by her 1st husband John,

She is survived by Susan and Wolfgang of Lexington, Kentucky, and by many friends and members of her extended family who loved her.

Visitation; 1:30 pm until the 2 pm Funeral Service on Monday, April 28th at Oneota Cemetery Chapel with Pastor Christine Anttila officiating. Burial at Oneota Cemetery. A cenotaph to her memory can also be found at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, CA.

Arrangements under the direction of Bell Brothers Funeral Home, Duluth, MN.


  • Visitation Monday, April 28, 2014
  • Service Monday, April 28, 2014

Gladys Strom Gardner

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C. Shaffia Laue

May 1, 2014

Dear Gladys,
It has been a treasure getting to know you over the years since you have been with Elmer and attended conferences with him. Your light has added to our extended spiritual family. In gratitude for your loving friendship and joy whenever I happened to call. Many blessings as your path continues "on the other side." Love and light, Shaffia

Karin Cremasco

April 30, 2014

Gentle eyes,
Loving heart.
Blessed smile
Cherished times.
Thank you, Gladys for your trust. It was my honour to work with you.
In Light,