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.

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  1. I am the great nephew of Gladys L. Hunter. I had the great privilege of visiting her on her 93rd birthday at the Masonic Home in Wallingford, CT. I drove there from my home in Rock Hill, SC. Aunt Gladys shared her life story and I have the complete history of her family beginning with my great-grandfather Frank Edwin Lawrence – he was born in the Midlands of England in 1872 and lived to be 101 himself. His wife, Mary Amelia Kay, was born in Scotland approximately 1875 and lived to be 69 years old. The couple had nine children, of which Gladys was the youngest. The oldest child, Marion Estelle, was my grandmother.

    Gladys was the wife of Robert L. Hunter, who was president of a privately owned printing company in Hartford, CT. I visited the Hunters in 1966 as a teenager with my family on our standard family two week long vacation, at their cottage on Lake Pocotopaug. I remember how much fun I had catching bluegills off the dock on the lake! I would bait the hook using meat from clams that I dove in and brought up from the bottom of the lake. That lake had the biggest bluegills I ever saw in my life. Gladys and my father, Frank Turner, would start mixing the afternoon cocktails around 4 PM and we would feast on bluegills, shrimp with cocktail sauce, corn on the cob, etc. every night.

    Gladys was a great singer in her youth. I was too young to remember that, but I heard the stories how she would sing along to my dad’s piano playing and my grandfather’s guitar and banjo playing. Gladys was also the spitting image of my grandmother, Marion, who was my very best friend in life – sharing equal space with my dad Frank and my mother Marjorie (MacGregor); my sisters Denise and Merni; my Aunt Nancy (Macgregor); and James Karshner, who is the brother I kept asking for – but I did not recognize him for many years since he’s not actually a member of the family, but he is still my best friend to this day.

    Let me tell you – that was a .hoot. seeing Gladys on her 93rd birthday. She did it up first class by taking me first to a little .happy hour. followed by the best dinner I think I had in the last 10 years. She was so happy to have me there, that I felt so deeply honored – it was better than any sea cruise, and a whale of a lot of fun.

    I will miss you, Aunt Gladys, and my prayer is that I will see you eternally in Heaven, every single day along with all of the people I have loved in life. Sincerely, Greg Turner

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