Mrs. Gladys Marie Wessels has passed away in Clarksville, TN at the age of 91.
Mrs. Wessels (formerly of Memphis, TN, Singapore, St. Louis, Chicago, Gary, IN, Iowa City, IA, Denver, CO, Guam, Valdosta, GA, Washington, DC, Quincy, IL) was born Gladys Marie Reese at the Reese family home in Harrisburg, IL on November 2 1922 to Richard C "Mac" Reese and Beulah Marie Key of Belknap, IL. She was the product of her father's second marriage after divorcing his first wife Mable, also from Illinois and later Boulder, CO.
Gladys had three older half siblings, Mac, Richard and Juanita Reese to welcome her as they travelled back to Illinois often. Mrs. Wessels married twice, Capt. Wesley Navare Vandorn World War II fighter pilot (widowed 1947) and Dr. Kenneth E. Wessels DDS, PhD (widowed 1980).
She leaves behind three children, Mary Hope Van Dorn, Margaret Ann Wessels, Kenneth E. Wessels Jr.; three grandchildren, Kristen Marie Powell, Sara Elizabeth Blanke, Bridget Marie Wessels; one great grandchild, Kloe Marie Haire; two great great grandsons. She was very active in Memphis charities including St. Jude Children's Cancer Research Hospital.
At age 21, she completed all 5 points of the Eastern Star. She and both her husbands travelled the world including South America, Australia, Singapore, Guam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan. Mrs. Wessels was devoted entirely to her children's welfare and tirelessly worked on their behalf.
She is also survived by two remaining first cousins, Robert "Bobby" Brown of Conyers, GA and Juanita Brawner of Independence, MO; one second cousin, Toni Brown of Independence, MO. Mrs. Wessels was a great admirer of the Arts and a lifetime Interior Decorator and Designer.
She passed away quietly at her home early Friday morning while watching the Cardinal Birds outside her window. She is very very loved by so many people whose lives she touched. She often said "how much you are loved doesn't matter, how much you love others does".
Cremation Society of TN, 1-877-794-3030
Cremation Society of Tennessee
3011 Harrah Dr, Suite O Spring Hill, TN 37174
Published in The Leaf Chronicle on Feb. 12, 2014