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Gladys Strom Gardner

Gladys Strom Gardner, 97, of Los Angeles, passed away April 16, 2014, in Santa Monica, Calif.

Gladys was born Dec. 27, 1916, in Duluth, to John and Mary Strom. Her parents had each immigrated 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 was an excellent student, with a particular talent for mathematics; she was also vivacious and was elected Denfeld School Queen in 1935.

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, Texas, 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 afterwards. 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 a marvelous, life-long, eidetic memory; she was capable of recalling 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. After John passed away in 1984, she lived quietly, enjoying her garden, until she reunited with Denfeld friend and classmate Elmer Green in 1996. They talked and traveled extensively from then on, traveling 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 survived by Susan and Wolfgang of Lexington, Ky., and by many friends and members of her extended family who loved her and remember her for her sparkle.

VISITATION: 1:30 until the 2 p.m. funeral service Monday, April 28, in Oneota Cemetery Chapel with Pastor Christine Anttila officiating. Burial at Oneota Cemetery.

A cenotaph in her memory can also be found at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, Calif.

Please leave a memory of Gladys or words of support for the family at