NEWELL GLADDEN, age 92, formerly of Central City, IL, passed away Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Lemay Avenue Health & Rehab Facility in Fort Collins, CO. He was a WW II Army veteran - another soldier has gone home.
Born in Bowie, TX to Seth Thomas and Sophronia (Rice) Gladden on October 19, 1920, he grew up living on the Waggoner Ranch where his father worked. He graduated from Harrold High School in 1939 where he played 6-man football on the 1939 Harrold Hornets championship football team.
After graduation, Newell left Texas to work with his brother for the summer during the oil boom in Centralia, IL intending to enter college in Paris, TX using his football scholarship in the fall. He soon met Patricia Louise Hankins and fell in love. They eloped on July 26, 1942 and had nearly 68 years together before her passing in 2010.
Newell entered the army in 1942 and was assigned to the 84th Infantry Division. He shipped overseas to the European theater where he was the jeep driver for the forward observer of “H” company. He was presented the Bronze Star on the battlefield at Geilenkirchen, Germany for driving a load of ammo across an open field to his company while under direct fire by the enemy. He took part in the Battle of the Bulge at Marche, Belgium where they were surrounded and believed captured.
Upon Newell’s return to civilian life, he again worked on drilling rigs and then became a pumper, moving to McLeansboro, IL. He worked 42 years in the oil fields for H.V. Spires and others, operated a magneto shop with his wife, and started farming. They always had at least one dog, and often two to love. He retired in 1987, and then they moved to Pat’s old home place in Central City, IL. Newell remained in Centralia after Pat’s death until June, 2012, when he moved to Fort Collins, CO. to be closer to his daughter and son-in-law. He was a Life Member of the VFW and the American Legion.
Survivors include: daughter Kay Lue Phillips and husband Jerry of Windsor, CO; two grandchildren: Julie Findlow and husband Thomas of Green River, WY and Chad Phillips and wife Jenny of Naperville, IL; four great-grandchildren: Ryan & Sarah Phillips of Naperville and Nicholas & Jacob Findlow of Green River, WY; one brother-in-law Charles (Doris) Schleifer of Nashville, IL; also, three nieces: Polly (Dale) Hutchins, Sally (Jon) Griffin, Jill (Keith) Maschoff; and, six nephews: Harlan (Mila) Hankins, Don (Charlotte) Gladden, John (Joan) Gladden, Stephen (Jacqueline) Heyman, Jeffery (Jane) Schleifer, and Jason (Tricia) Schleifer; and several great-nieces and nephews.
Newell was preceded in death by his parents, his dearly loved wife Pat, brother Greer (Jean) Gladden, and sisters Anne (Charles) Richardson and LaRue (Don) Heyman; also, brothers-in-law Harlan Hankins and Revis (Rose Marie) Hankins; and sister-in-law Earla Sue (Charles) Miner.
A memorial service in Centralia, IL is planned for March 9, 2013 at 10:30 AM at Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home with burial to follow in the Garden of Honor Veterans Section at Hillcrest Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Heart Association or Centralia Humane Society and will be accepted at Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home, 235 N. Sycamore, Centralia, IL 62801. Condolences may be made at www.Hillcrest1921.com.