Gladys Thompson (nee Uldal), aged 94 years, passed away on September 9 at Cypress Park Hospice in her beloved Sun City Center, Florida.
She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Tellef and Minnie Uldal on October 12, 1927, and was raised in Westerleigh, Staten Island. A 1945 graduate of Port Richmond High School, she continued her education at Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Home and Hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and received her RN degree in 1948. She worked at US Public Health Hospital until she became a stay-at-home mom. She returned to work in 1971 as a nursing supervisor at Eger Nursing Home.
Married to Robert Thompson in 1953, she and Bob raised three children on Staten Island before following their dreams of a sunny, warm climate and retiring to Sun City Center in 1987. They enjoyed many new friends, golfing, worldwide travel and trips to the theater and Florida Orchestra. She was passionate about the Sunshine State and endlessly encouraged family and friends to visit and relocate. A lifelong fan of Jeopardy and, later, in her retirement, a pretty darn good bridge player; she loved spending mornings at the community pool exercising both her body and her verbal skills with neighbors and friends. Gladys also devoted hours of her time volunteering with the Sun City Emergency Squad and for the Sun City Security Squad. Proud of her nursing background until the end, she was a member of the club for retired nurses and stayed in touch with her former classmates.
After Bob passed in 1998, she remained at her house in Greenbriar until Hurricane Irma made her reconsider living alone in a large house. After carefully examining options, she chose Aston Gardens. Everyone knows that she loved the camaraderie, the facility and the ease of apartment living. We can all hear her say, “I should’ve moved here YEARS ago.” She often spoke highly of the staff, her neighbors and new friends, and the comforts of her new home. She continued her role as an unofficial ambassador for Florida and Sun City while adding Aston Gardens to her list as the best place to live.
Gladys was known for staying in touch with people, being interested in their lives and worrying about them (a trait noted even by her nursing classmates in her yearbook). Fiercely independent, she was never restrained by the label of wife, mother, daughter or nurse. She held her own counsel long before many women were known to do so. Never one to shy away from offering her opinion, criticism or a reprimand, she was quick to forgive and move on. She loved many and will be missed by all.
She is survived by her three children; Ruth, Beth (Ray Moorhouse) and Ted (Karen); grandchildren, Tyler (Laura) and Christian; three step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and so many who are related in her heart. She is also survived by her dear friends from the past and the present. Everyone she befriended became family and meant more to her than words can say.
A service of Thanksgiving for her long and happy life will be held on October 8, 2022, at Aston Gardens Sun City Center Ballroom from 1:30-3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Metropolitan Ministries, 200 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, FL 33602, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (ID#23092657) or Immanuel Union Church Maintenance Fund, 693 Jewett Ave., Staten Island, NY 10314.
Stanley J. Smalenski
Stanley J. Smalenski passed away on Sept. 16, 2022, in Sun City Center, Fla. He was born in Beacon, N.Y. on August 5, 1932. Stan is predeceased by his wife, Mary Ellen, daughter Katherine Ann and brother Francis. He is survived by three children, Mary Ellen II, Richard Merwin and Jean Marie; five grandchildren, Marissa, Michael, Alissa, Robert and Ashley; and eight great-grandchildren, Braeden, Katelyn, Taylor, Ashton, Ava, Evan, Robert and Hunter.
Stanley served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 – 1956.
A Mass will be held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Sun City Center at 10 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2022. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Lifepath Hospice, Sun City Center, Florida .