Wanda K. Gladwin
Wanda Mae, née Kuzminski, Gladwin passed away peacefully in the presence of her loving daughters on October 7, 2021, at the age of 89.
Wanda was born in Boonville, NY on August 29, 1932, and grew up in Newport, NY on the dairy farm of her father, Michael Kuzminski. Wanda helped on the family farm and in raising her younger sisters.
She began her education in a one-room schoolhouse, whose antique upright piano still holds pride of place in Wanda's home. She later attended West Canada Valley Central School, where she was Valedictorian of the Class of 1949. Wanda studied at Cornell University and State University Teachers College Plattsburgh, NY; she graduated at the top of her class at Plattsburgh in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics. She received her Master of Education from State University College in Utica, NY.
Her earliest jobs were in the Adirondacks, where she later spent summers with her family. After college, she became a coordinator for Cornell University's 4-H Cooperative Extension, eventually leading their homemaking program in Oneida County. She also presented practical tips and the farm report live on television at Utica station WKTV. Wanda began her career in education teaching home economics at Roscoe Conkling School in Utica, where she met art teacher Donald Gladwin.
Wanda and Donald were married on June 20, 1959, at Holy Trinity Church in Utica, and embarked upon a three-month honeymoon tour of Europe. They raised five daughters, in whom they instilled the importance of family, education, faith, art, and travel. Globe-trotting would become a staple in their marriage as they explored six continents, primarily visiting art museums, cultural sites, and cathedrals of the world. In addition to being an exceptional mother and devoted wife, Wanda managed many businesses, as a property owner, realtor, and travel agent at their business Deluxe Travel, which inspired more journeys together.
In 2007, Wanda and Donald relocated to Cary, North Carolina. Happily married for nearly 59 years, they barely spent a day apart until Donald's passing in 2018 at the age of 92. Together, they found great joy in spending time with family.
Wanda was a gentle woman who led by example, encouraging calm and insisting on kindness to all. She led a life of virtue and true selflessness. A quietly religious woman, she attended weekly Mass all her life and honored Catholic traditions, finding particular comfort in praying the Rosary.
Her dedication to education made Wanda a brilliant word master: she was the queen of her favorite game, Scrabble. She excelled at crossword puzzles and trivia, was wise about practical matters, and knowledgeable regarding world affairs. At her Cary residence, she was an active participant in the community, and was a representative on the residents' council.
Wanda is survived by her five daughters, Valerie (Jeff) Montgomery, Pamela (Chris) Spencer, Gabrielle (Erik) Morse, Michelle Gladwin, and Lisa (Erik) Beal; also her grandchildren, Lucian and Esmeralda Montgomery; Tim, Dan (Sara Hope), and Paul Spencer; Sabrina, Isabella, and Addison Morse; Evan and Heidi Beal; and great-grandchildren, Perpetua and Valentine Spencer. She is also survived by her sister Esther (Bruce) Warren. She was predeceased by her husband Donald Gladwin, grandson Shane Beal, and sister Martha (John) LoCurto.
If you wish to send sentiments to the family, please email them to [email protected]
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Wanda on October 16, 2021, at Holy Trinity Church at 10:00 a.m.; visitation from 9:30 a.m. will immediately precede the service. Burial will take place at Holy Trinity Cemetery, beside her husband.
Livestream link: https://www.facebook.com/holytrinityutica/
Published by Legacy on Oct. 14, 2021.
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Holy Trinity Church
1206 Lincoln Ave., Utica, NY
Mass of Christian Burial
Holy Trinity Church
1206 Lincoln Ave., Utica, NY
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