Gladys Ann Smith (Gaffney) was born on October 30, 1925, to Grady Smith and Tressa (Sonneberg) Smith in Titonka, Iowa. She grew up in Titonka and graduated from the Titonka High School in 1943. Then she attended the University of Dubuque and graduated in 1946 receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her emphasis was in Vocal Music, English, with a teaching minor in French.
Gladys was baptized and confirmed at the Ramsey Reformed Church in Titonka and became a member of the Church. she was active there directing both Senior Choir and Junior Choir. she was contralto soloist, sang in cantata, solo for Mission Festival, directed Youth for Christ, ensemble singing, played the pipe organ for weddings and general activity. As a four-year-old, she sang her first solo on Christmas Eve at Ramsey Church. The song she sang was "Silent Night" and she continued this until she was thirteen years old and then it was ensemble time. Gladys loved to sing.
She started her teaching in small schools, this was for experience. A merger took place and she became a teacher in the Charles City Community School System. At first, she taught vocal music and English in senior high, the elementary grades. There were sixteen elementary schools, she taught in three schools, 405 different boys and girls a week. She motivated her students to sing and they enjoyed it as well as she did.
During her teaching career, she took correspondence and extension classes and earned twenty graduate hours towards her Master's Degree. She was a member of Iowa State Eduction Association and a life member of the National Education Association. Gladys belonged to the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She sang with the Charles City Community Chorus, the Messiah, the Bel Canto singers and others. She gave private piano lessons and voice lessons to boys and girls and adults, she was a supervisor of student teachers from University of Northern Iowa. It was enjoyable! At the University of Dubuque, she was initiated into the Lamda Tau Delta Sorority.
Hobbies including bowling, walking and singing. Her walking was for exercise and weight control. She walked nine miles a day, 20 blocks to a mile and 5 miles, etc.
Gladys accepted Christ as her Savior at a Bible Church in Charles City. Her mission was to witness to people and tell them what Christ had done for her and what He would do for you, if you asked Him and accepted Him.
Gladys married Clarence Wiegmann, the marriage was later dissolved. she married Frank Gaffney, in Long Beach, New Jersey. Frank was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). He was the head electrician for Amerada-Hess in Edison, New Jersey.
Survivors include her son Douglas Wiegmann of spring Hill, Tennessee. Brent Wiegmann of Orlando, Florida. Sonja Wiegmann of Germany. Brent and Sonja are grandchildren. Great granddaughters Annabelle Dawn and Alice Rose Wiegmann of Orlando, Florida. Also surviving are cousins, nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death are her parents, brother Harris Smith of Lodi, California, her husband and some cousins and nephews.
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