Gladys Byington

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gladys Byington died June 27, 2010 in Juneau. She was the second of seven children born to William and Leona "Leo" (Sharp) Schaal. She was born on Valentine's Day, 1922 in eastern Colorado. Gladys grew up in a one-room adobe house in the country where she learned to break and ride wild horses at an early age. She rode her favorite, a range horse named Danny, five miles to school.

As a young woman she attended college in Denver and pharmacy school in New York. Gladys served as a pharmacist in the Coast Guard Women's Reserve, SPAR, from 1942 to 1944 in San Francisco.

She met and married Glenn L. Byington in 1946 while they were both attending college in Gunnison, Colo. after the war. They moved to Juneau in 1949. In Juneau, she worked as a secretary for the Territorial Legislature for a time, and in the 1960s for the Head Start program.

Gladys power trolled from 1973 to 1983 on their family boat, the F/V Snow Goose, with her husband and her son Bill. She loved her life on the water and as a commercial fisherwoman and had many adventures with her family.

After Glenn died in Tenakee in 1990, Gladys continued to spend summers and fall at their Tenakee home where she enjoyed socializing with many friends, tending her flower garden, and watching the Inlet for whales from the front deck.

A cherished highlight in her life was a summer in the mid 1990s when her Colorado family came to visit. It was a cheerful and memorable time for Gladys, who dearly loved her family.

Throughout her life, Gladys was a true care-giving person who loved her family unconditionally. In return her children Phil, Gwen and Bill were there for her with loving moral support in her later years.

She is survived by her sons Bill and Phil, and daughter Gwen; grand children Miles Byington and Kelley Jo Prewitt; sisters Shirley (Leonard) Matthies and Betty (Milton) Reimer; brother Virgil (Joan) Schaal; and dear friends Pat Crabtree and Grace and Frank Davis.

Preceding her in death are her parents and sisters Wilma and Jean.

Her ashes will be laid to rest with her husband Glenn in the spring of 2011 at the Alaska Memorial Park in Juneau. Contributions in her name can be made to Children's Hospice or Hospice in Juneau.

Gladys will be remembered as very warm and gentle person with a sweet smile. She was truly everyone's Valentine and she will be dearly missed.



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