August 7, 1915 ~ January 7, 2016
Gladys Lawrence Hunter passed away peacefully at age 100 at the Masonic Home & Hospital in Wallingford on January 7, 2016. Gladys was born in Northville, Michigan, on August 7, 1915 to the late Frank E. Lawrence and Mary Amelia Kay, who moved to Wethersfield the following year. Gladys attended local schools, and graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1933, and went to work for an insurance company in Hartford. She married Robert W. Hunter on April 10, 1939 and over the years they lived in West Hartford, Hartford, and Bloomfield. Bob owned and operated the Hunter Press, a family business, until he and Gladys retired to a home on Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton. In 1986 they moved to the Masonic community, where they were among the first residents of the Ashlar Village independent-living community there. Gladys was predeceased by her parents, her husband, and her nine siblings: Marion, Ernest, Albert, Ruth, Lillian, Frank, Margaret, James, and Edwin Lawrence. (Their father, Frank Lawrence, was featured on the front page of the Hartford Times on Father's Day 1939 as that newspaper's Typical Hartford Father of the year.) Gladys is survived by many nieces and nephews to whom she became a mother figure, and by many grand-nieces and grand-nephews who valued her advice and advocacy. In addition to being a model matriarch, Gladys was active as a volunteer in a range of organizations through which she contributed to community and civic life in a way that has only recently begun to be recognized as an unpaid career path of great value to our society. She was a life member of The Hartford Women's Club (of which she was president in 1961-62) and of the Order of the Eastern Star (having joined the Rainbow Girls as a teenager). She was Chair in 1963 of the J. J. McCook Memorial Hospital Women's Auxiliary and for many years ran their shop selling donated items to raise funds. She was a seventy-year member of Beta Sigma Phi, and for eighty-seven years a member of Central Baptist Church in Hartford. At Ashlar Village, Gladys volunteered in a variety of ways. In August 2010, a large party of family and friends gathered at Ashlar Village to celebrate Gladys' 95th birthday. Family members joined her five months ago to celebrate her 100th birthday in her room in the assisted-living wing of the Masonic complex, into which she had only recently moved. Gladys broke her hip late last year, and her health declined quickly thereafter. A private interment will be held in early spring, with arrangements made through BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave, Hamden. Memorial donations may be sent to Masonic Home & Hospital, 22 Masonic Ave, Wallingford, CT 06492.