Gladys J. Anderson (Veihmeier)
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8/21/1914 - 4/12/2013
Lifelong Placer County resident Gladys J. Anderson died at her family home on Friday, April 12, 2013 with her family at her side. Gladys was born in August of 1914 to John Veihmeier and Elsie Ruppricht, who were second generation Placer County fruit growers and cattle ranchers.
In her early years, Gladys attended the one room Ophir Schoolhouse, and many of the old timers could remember seeing Gladys driving her pony and cart to school. If she wasn't driving the cart she would just jump on her pony "Uno" and head bareback up old Wise Road which was dirt at the time. At the age of thirteen, her dad bought Gladys a "Willys Whippet Roadster" so she could drive from the ranch to Placer High School. She graduated from Placer High in 1932 and then attended Sacramento Junior College.
During her younger years, Gladys was an avid horsewoman and when the locals needed someone to break a bad horse they called on her. She even had the opportunity to break horses for the U.S. Calvary before the Calvary was mechanized in the 1930's. During the 1930's, Willie Tevis organized a Polo Team consisting of Gladys, Barbara Worth, Leona Hart, and movie actor, Spencer Tracy's wife, as well as several others. The team traveled by airplane to matches which during the depression era was not an easy task. The team was very successful and there are still several trophies on the mantle at the Ranch to remind us all of their talent and success. The polo team was disbanded anticipating the outbreak of World War II and Gladys returned to her duties at the ranch full time.
Gladys was taught by her father at a very early age to hunt and fish, which made her very appealing to prospective suitors. While in high school, she met Vincent Anderson of Newcastle for the first time when he and Vic Cassidy jumped off the school bus to help repair her broken down Roadster but there wasn't a love connection at that time. As time went on, Gladys continued riding her horses and met June Anderson, Vince's younger sister, they became best of friends. There wasn't a hill or dale between Newcastle and Ophir that the two young ladies didn't ride together. Vince and Gladys were reintroduced to each other by June and eventually fell in love and married in 1940.
As if Gladys' life wasn't interesting enough, after she married Vince they followed his job to many of the PG&E Powerhouses in the mountains of Placer County. During the winter months they were snowbound for several months at a time so they had to store six months of food supplies and had to ski in or out to their house. During spring and summer months they hunted and fished the mountains and lakes together. They had to be the best of friends to be able to be snowbound for months at a time, which was proven by the birth of their Daughter Linda in 1945.
They continued living in the mountains for many years and would come down to the families ranches when they could. Eventually they moved down the mountains back to the Veihmeier family ranch in 1960 as their daughter Linda had to go to school and become active in various groups or organizations and as PG&E Hydro Plant Operator jobs would open up. Gladys became very active in her community. She was always room mother in school functions, a campfire girls leader, and as many of the Placer County 4-H'ers remember, community Leader of the Long Valley 4-H Club. She was very active in the Placer County Cowbells organization, the Rebekah's lodge, as well as the Tahoe Cattleman's, American and California Shorthorn Associations.
During the 1960's, and 70's, Gladys showed her Shorthorn cattle all across the country. She participated in improving the breed and improving her herd by the use of proper sire and dam selection. She travelled across the U.S. and Canada to buy and sell bulls and heifers. In the mid 70's, she retired from showing cattle and she and Vince began travelling the world on vacations. She walked the Great Wall of China, swam with the colorful fish in Tahiti, Stayed on a sheep farm in New Zealand, travelled the outback of Australia, climbed the Aztec Pyramids in Mexico, and cruised through Alaska.
To say she had an active and interesting life is an understatement. Gladys was active in the day to day operations of the J.V. Ranch up until her death. Even on the day she died she was asking if her grandson David "was taking beef to the farmers market this week to sell?" She continued to drive competently until she was ninety six years old, at which time she hung up her keys "because she wouldn't get her money's worth from the renewal fee". Although she was slower as she got older, the spirit of living and doing things her way never left her. She continued to work cows in the corrals until she was ninety seven. Then family members were able to convince her that it was more important for her to fix everyone a big lunch after a hard morning of working cows. When she fed you lunch she would insist that you ate second helpings, and after you were through she'd tell you were "getting big".
Gladys was preceded in death by Vincent H. Anderson, her husband of sixty five years in 2005. She is survived by her daughter Linda Chaddock of Sheffield Iowa, her grandson, Auctioneer David Chaddock of Auburn, her granddaughter, High School Ag Teacher Debbie Barkela of Sheffield Iowa, her great grandchildren, Zachary Hall, Rebecca Chaddock, Brady, Briley, and Blake Barkela, and her great great granddaughter Ivy Hall.
The family is planning a remembrance event at the ranch May 18, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family has asked donations be made to the Auburn Sutter Faith Hospice Program, or the Placer County 4-H Program in the memory of Gladys J. Anderson.
Published in Gold Country Media Newspapers on Apr. 28, 2013