With a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior, Gladys Ellen Fairhead was called home to her eternal glory on April 3, 2012.
Gladys was born on June 6, 1924, at Box Butte County, Neb., to George and Minnie (Spetman) Gerdes. Her childhood years were spent helping her parents, her mother in particular, raise geese and lambs. Gladys spent many happy hours with her grandparents learning about their lives before emigrating from Germany and their lives after arriving in the United States. From these experiences, Gladys became a storyteller, holding precious the history of her family and their communities. It was great fun to listen to her stories of life in the Nebraska Sandhills during the late 1800s to the present.
She attended country schools and later graduated from high school in Curtis, Nebraska. Following graduation she obtained a teaching certificate and taught in one-room country schools and at Hay Springs.
Gladys met her husband, Garould Fairhead, while attending school in Curtis. He proposed on their first date. Garould enlisted in the Navy during World War II and Gladys waited for him to come home from the war. They were married on June 6, 1947, in Alliance. Gladys and Garould made their home on the Circle Six Ranch north of Merriman. They were great partners, working hard to raise their family and build their business. Gladys had many interests, including genealogy, flower gardening, teaching Sunday School, and participating in Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames of America.
Gladys enjoyed writing poetry describing life in the Sandhills. Her poetry was inspired by her father, who gave her a love of the land, an eye for the character of its people, and an appreciation of the pleasures of the mind, and by her mother, who made up nonsense verses to entertain a small girl on an isolated Sandhills ranch.
She spent the last months of her life at the Pioneer Manor Nursing Home in Hay Springs. Gladys’ family will be forever grateful to the outstanding care provided by a loving and dedicated staff.
Rejoicing in the privilege of having shared her life are Gladys’ children: Jeana (Ralph) Holso, Rapid City, S.D., Gary Fairhead, Fresno, Calif., and Leigh Fairhead, Merriman; six grandchildren: Laura, Jason, Wes, Leah, Brooke and Brennen Fairhead; her great-grandson, Jaxon Rucker; and her brother Gene (Alice) Gerdes and family of Alliance, Nebraska. Gladys was preceded in death by her parents, son James Kent Fairhead, and husband Garould Fairhead.
The service of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2012, at 10 a.m. at the Chamberlain Pier Funeral Home in Gordon, Nebraska, with Vicar Paul Winckler officiating. A luncheon will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 801 N. Elm Street, Gordon, Nebraska, after interment at the Gordon Cemetery.
A memorial has been established. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343
“No eye has seen, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9
Chamberlain Pier Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.