January 1, 1913 ~ January 1, 2009
Meriden - Gladys Randall Backus, 95, wife of the late Joel Waterman Backus, passed away peacefully at MidState Medical Center after a brief illness. Born in Pittsford, Vermont in 1913, she was the daughter of the late George and Pruchia (Kelley) Randall. Gladys was a nursing student at the Meriden Hospital when she met her future husband and together they established a large, chaotic but loving family around their five sons. The consummate homemaker, Gladys managed a busy household in which hospitality and generosity reigned and where it was often difficult to distinguish neighbors and friends from family and in-laws. That warmth and hospitality extended into the kitchen of the First United Methodist Church where Gladys was a fixture for more than 40 years. Leading a devoted cadre of women parishioners, they prepared family-style Church dinners for evangelical and civic organizations alike. Her down-home Yankee palate for culinary delights manifested itself in groaning boards of pot roast, Thanksgiving-style turkey and chicken 'n biscuits. In addition, she served in the canteen of Red Cross bloodmobiles for 30 years, serving sandwiches, juice and her patented 'peanut-butter squares' to blood donors. She is survived by two sons and their wives, Kent N. and Karen (Soltes) Backus; and Scott E. and Lori (Lampros) Backus, fourteen grandchildren, Deborah, David, Paul, Heather, Derek, Daniel, Randall, Kurt, Timothy, Amy, Casey, Kirby, Wes an Emily, twenty-four great-grandchildren and two former daughters-in-law, Karen Azzolina and Lisa Mongillo. She was predeceased by three sons and two of their wives, Joel S. Backus, Ronald A. Backus and his wife Beverly(Markowski), and Bruce R. Backus and his wife Virginia (Sehl) as well as two grandchildren, Kevin ('Moose') and Melissa. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 11:00am at the First United Methodist Church, 159 East Main St., Meriden. The Rev. Eric Henderson will officiate. Interment will follow at Walnut Grove Cemetery, Meriden. Relatives and friends may call at the Beecher & Bennett-Flatow Funeral Home, 48 Cook Ave., Meriden on Wednesday (TODAY) from 6-9pm. In lieu of flowers donations in Glady's memory may be made to the American Red Cross, 144 So.Main St., Wallingford, CT 06492.