Gladys Ione Grinolds passed away on June 24, 2022, at the Bethel Home in Stanley, ND, at the age of 96, surrounded by loved ones.
Gladys was born at the family farm near Stanley on November 16, 1925, to Oliver and Amanda Thompson, the 4th of 11 children. Times were tough, and Gladys told the story of her and her three older sisters sharing one dress, one doll and sometimes even one bed. Everyone on the farm pitched in to make ends meet in the 1930s. It was Gladys’ and sister Leona’s job to herd the cows, but they spent part of the time riding them, often being scolded by Oliver because the cows became swaybacked.
After graduating from Stanley High School, Class of 1943, Gladys worked at Anderson Department Store and later for the REC, where she witnessed the electrification of the rural farming community.
Gladys attended many community dances with her girlfriends, enjoying big band music. Robert Grinolds usually drove them to the dance. According to Gladys, after one such dance she maneuvered Robert into dropping her off last. They started dating seriously after Robert returned from serving in the Navy.
Gladys and Robert were married on January 23, 1949, in the middle of a North Dakota snow storm. Because her father never made it to the wedding, being stuck in a snow bank, Gladys' brother-in-law walked her down the aisle. They lived a short time in Stanley and White Earth. Their first child Kathy was born during that time. After moving to Appam, ND, the couple had three more children, Sam (Richard), Kim, and Terriann. Gladys and Robert were very involved with their children's school activities.
Gladys served as postmaster in Appam for many years. She was the original work-at-home Mom, as the post office was attached to the house. She was always singing around the house, usually not in tune, but her spontaneous dancing rivaled Ginger Rogers.
In 1972 Robert and Gladys moved to the Broken Wheel Angus Ranch near Palermo, where they built a new home. Gladys was the ultimate farmer's wife, working side by side with Robert. She also worked at the post office in Stanley and retired after 30 years of service.
Gladys enjoyed flower gardening and dancing with Robert many Friday nights at the Stanley Legion Club, and often hosted late-night breakfast at the house for their local Legion friends. She was a skilled baker and always had goodies on hand for her grandchildren and anyone who might stop by. Gladys was the most gentle, kind, and loving mother and grandmother, and upon retirement regularly babysat her grandchildren.
She was also a long-time member of Faith Lutheran Church and Charity Circle in Palermo.
Gladys is survived by her daughter, Kathy (Ross), West Grove, PA; Sam (Lenore), Corcoran, MN, Terri (Greg), Centennial, CO; daughter-in-law, Renee Grinolds, Palermo; eight grandchildren, Robert and Carl, Josh and Jessie, Kristal and Kari, Mandy and Zack; and ten great-grandchildren, Pyotor, Oliver and Simon, Noah and Liam, Braedon, Audriana and Isabelle, Cooper and Ella; brother, Milfred Thompson; sisters, Carol Lounsberry, Ardis Rice, and Sharon Cvancara (Gene).
She was preceded in death by her parents, Oliver and Amanda; husband, Robert; son, Kim; granddaughter, Jamie; sisters, Myrtle, Mabel, Leona, Lois, and Lorraine; and brother, Gerald.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Faith Lutheran Church, Rest Haven Cemetery Fund, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
We wish to thank Gladys’ caregivers during her last years - the Wellington and Maple View staff in Minot and the Bethel Home staff in Stanley. A special thank you to her granddaughter Kari Henderson.
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