Gladys Ruth McAlister Weatherford was born on July 19, 1921 to Rev. WW McAlister and Ollie Mae Howeth. She passed away on Nov. 4, 2016 at the age of 95.
She was raised on a farm in Washington, Okla., and attended school there except for her junior year when she accompanied her older sister Lavena to Alabama. After graduating from Washington in 1939, she attended OSU for one year then returned home to be with her mother.
She married Leo Weatherford on October 1, 1941 in Purcell, and they became parents to John William in August of 1942. She was raised during the Great Depression and was a young wife and mother during World War II. While Leo was serving in the army, she worked for McDonnell Douglas in Oklahoma City.
After Leo was discharged they moved to Camarillo, California to be close to Leo's family. They returned to Oklahoma about 1950 and purchased the Weatherford acreage southeast of Maysville where she lived until she could no longer care for herself.
She lived the last few years with her daughter and family near Grove, Okla. She was able to remain in her home for several years thanks to her dear friends and neighbors, Dave and Susan Deviney.
In 1954, a friend of Gladys' asked her to attend East Central University as a commuter student. Gladys convinced LaVerne Sykora to join her, and with the support of their husbands and sons, they earned their bachelor's degrees in 1958.
Gladys began teaching at Garvin Springs in Antioch District with several grades in one room. She earned her master's degree in education in 1962. After taking a year off when her daughter Susan Adele was born on her birthday in 1963, she began teaching at Maysville Elementary where she taught 3rd grade and Kindergarten.
She always said that teaching Kindergarten was the most difficult job she ever had, but she loved it more than anything. She received the honor of teacher of the year, and with her friends' encouragement and help (because she would not write about herself), she was honored as district teacher of the year. She retired from teaching in 1987.
Gladys loved the outdoors; she would rather pull weeds than do anything indoors. She also loved to sew and crochet and she tried any kind of craft. She dabbled in painting, cake decorating, and flower arranging after retirement. She loved to travel, read, and learn.
However, she spent most of her time taking care of others from elderly neighbors and relatives to her granddaughters. She also was very involved with the Maysville chapter of OHCE Garvin County for 29 years, entering plants, foods, and other items in the county fair, being an instrumental member of Millennium Edition cookbook committee, and serving as leader and treasurer. She was also a member of the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Maysville and had many roles there: Children's and adult's Sunday school teacher, nursery attendant, treasurer, and choir member.
She was preceded in death by her husband and her son as well as all of her siblings and several nieces and nephews.
She is survived by daughter Susan and husband Rick Woods of Monkey Island, Okla.; daughter-in-law Boneta Weatherford, granddaughter Sabrina and husband Curtis Inman, great-granddaughter Lauren Inman, all of Ozark, Missouri; granddaughters Calin and husband Warren, Kirk of Jay and Alexis Watt of Tahlequah; grandsons Kyle and wife Kaley Woods of Broken Arrow, and Kaelin and wife Kailan Woods of Claremore; and one great-grandson Gunner Wesley Kirk.
Donations in Mrs. Weatherford may be made to the American Cancer Society, any Alzheimer's Organization, or First United Methodist Church in Maysville.
Visitation with the family will be 6 to 8 pm Friday, November 11, 2016 at Winans Funeral Home, 405 Sixth Street, Maysville.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the First United Methodist Church in Maysville with Bro. Mike Deviney officiating.
Burial will be in the Maysville Cemetery under the direction of John W. Williams of Winans Funeral Home in Maysville, Okla. Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.winansfuneralhome.com.
Published on November 8, 2016