Gladys Hendricksen Graig, 76

I’m flying back to New York today to attend the funeral of Gladys Graig.

I met Gladys about 17 years ago, shortly before my sister Barbara married Gladys’ son Jeffrey.

Gladys was born in 1930 in Brooklyn, Kings Co., New York, the daughter of Norwegian immigrants Telef Henricksen and Gerda Sofie Larsen, both from Aust-Adger, Norway.  She married Vernon Arthur Graig in 1948 in Summit, Schoharie Co., New York.

Gladys is survived by her brother Bernhard; three sons, Gary, Thomas, and Jeffrey; four grandsons; and two granddaughters.

She was predeceased by her husband Vernon in 2001, and by her sister Elsie Andresen in 2004.

After her husband’s death, Gladys moved to Arizona, but she visited her family in New York every summer.  This year, she arrived in Albany in early July, and I was able to spend a few hours with her before I had to fly back to California at the end of my vacation.  Shortly before she was due to return to Arizona, Gladys was diagnosed with cancer.  She spent the last few weeks of her life surrounded by her family and loved ones.

I knew Gladys as a kind and thoughtful woman.  Knowing I was studying Polish, she sent me a copy of the Polish National Anthem along with a note that read “The next time I see you, I expect you to sing this for me”.

I will miss her.

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4 Responses to Gladys Hendricksen Graig, 76

  1. Barbara Poole says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thank you for your personal note about the death. I was going to suggest you write something in the blog, as I didn’t want to ask too many questions.
    What a shame such a nice person died at an early age and so quickly. You were all lucky to have known her.
    Peace to Gladys and condolences to you and your family.

  2. Joyce M Chaput says:

    Hi Steve,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Cheryl Palmer says:

    I am so sorry for your families loss! I hope she didn’t suffer. I hope your trip went well. You do have such fond memories of her, I hope that is most comforting. I am wondering if you at least sang the Polish National Anthem to her in your head…… ;-)

    Deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  4. Thank you Barbara, Joyce, and Cheryl for your kind words of support. Gladys was comfortable in the weeks prior to her death. My sister told me that the Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital was a wonderful facility, and many family members were able to visit her before she died. One grandson serving in the armed forces in Iraq was granted leave to visit her, a granddaughter traveled from Ireland, and several family members flew in from Arizona to see her while she was at the Hospice Inn.

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