SARATOGA SPRINGS - Gladys Louise Barnes, 95, formerly of Bradt Road in Rexford, died peacefully March 5, 2013, at Saratoga Hospital Nursing Home after a long illness.
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Daughter of the late Louis and Norma (Norris) Beck, she was born in Johnson City, N.Y. As an adolescent, she gained regional acclaim as a coloratura soprano and was featured as a soloist in many recitals in Western New York.
During World War II, she worked for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. While there, she met her future husband, John, and they married in October of 1944.
After the war, she and her husband moved to Ithaca, where she attended Ithaca College as a theatre major. There, she acted in many productions as a member of the ""Pocket Players"" and was inducted into the Oracle Honor Society for academic excellence. Upon graduation, the couple moved to Ballston Lake, where they had their first and only child, Amy.
Gladys worked in the home up to the time she attended the State University of New York at Albany, earning a master's degree in library science. Subsequently, she worked at Burnt-Hills High School as a librarian from 1964 until 1979, when she retired.
At Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills, she was a parishioner and served as a member of the Altar Guild.
She was predeceased by her only sibling, her brother, Dr. Edward S. Beck of Annapolis, Md., and her husband, John.
She is survived by her daughter, Amy (Joseph) DiDonna; her son of 34 years, Joseph DiDonna Sr.; her grandson, Joseph (Julie) DiDonna Jr.; and her granddaughter, Maria DiDonna, all of Saratoga Springs.
Viewing hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 8, 2013, at Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Road. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Glenville Funeral Home followed by burial at St. Anthony's Cemetery in Glenville.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Saratoga Hospital Foundation, 211 Church St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
The family expresses sincerest gratitude to the staff of the nursing home at Saratoga Hospital. Not only did they provide exceptional care to ""Gladiola"" over the past eight years, they preserved her dignity by treating her with love and compassion at all times. Knowing of her love for music and singing, they took every opportunity to lead her or join her in song, thus becoming a key part of her spiritual life. We consider them a part of our family, just as Gladys did.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.glenvillefuneralhome.com.
Published in The Saratogian on Mar. 8, 2013