Gladys Severance, 90, passed away on December 28, at the Respite House, after a 3-year battle with MDS and leukemia. She died gracefully and surrounded by family.
Gladys was born in Wellsville, NY, March 10, 1928 to Arthur and Bessie Clark. She leaves behind her husband of 66 years, Malcolm Severance, her daughter, Lyn and husband Bill Harvey of Burlington, her son, Mark and wife Terri of Shelburne, and her daughter, Dawn and husband George Schildge of Colchester. She also leaves four grandchildren, Jackson Harvey, Henry Clark Severance, Raychel Severance, and Jill Severance, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her only sister, Ruth Tomachesky.
Gladys graduated from UVM in 1949, and in 2008, she and Malcolm were both awarded honorary Doctorates at UVM Commencement. Gladys said Malcolm certainly deserved it, and perhaps she deserved it in part for putting up with Malcolm so many years.
Gladys lived a full 90 years. Right up to the end, she worked actively on the family histories of the Severance and Clark families. Throughout her disease, she fought constantly and never gave up. She was willing to do whatever treatments were possible to extend her life. She was a fighter, and she fought a great fight.
Gladys was active in the First Baptist Church, founded the Burlington Chapter of Meals on Wheels in 1972, ran a Girl Scout Troop, volunteered at the Vermont Morgan Horse Association and the National Museum of the Morgan Horse, and was successful in her run for Tax Collector in Colchester, where she worked for 13 years.
Gladys was always effective behind the scenes. She actively supported Malcolm's career, often drove the 1957 International Horse Truck all over the State to support Dawn's horse activities, kept a full vegetable garden, and planned many of the trips she and Malcolm took in their later years. She especially loved Sydney, Australia and the Opera House, and they also traveled to Africa, saw the Northern Lights in Alaska, went to China, enjoyed Rome and Florence, and took a pretty spartan "cruise" ship up the coast of Norway, even in their 80's.
Her positive attitude was an inspiration to all who knew her. When Malcolm ran for the Vermont legislature, Gladys added many creative elements to his campaign, helping Malcolm to serve four terms as Representative from Colchester. And when the conversation needed a change in direction, she could gracefully mention the beautiful flowers in Alaska.
Gladys was particularly prolific in writing poems. She always had a special poem for every occasion - birthdays, holidays, and family gatherings. She called them "pomes" and they were always corny, but they rhymed.
Gladys enjoyed the staff at Shepardson 4, who treated her like a queen whenever she came for care. And the family wants to thank the Hematology/Oncology staff at UVM for taking care of her these past 3 years.
Memorial service to take place at the First Baptist Church, 81 St. Paul Street, Burlington on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Visiting hours at Corbin and Palmer, 9 Pleasant Street, Essex Junction, on Friday, January 4 from 3:30 - 5:30.
To send flowers to Gladys' family, please visit our floral section.