Saturday, October 13, 2001

Obituary: Gladys Haskins Bronson - Class of 1918

MADISON [Wisconsin] - Gladys Haskins Bronson, age 101, retired educator and civic leader, died peacefully on Monday, Oct. 8, 2001. She was born on Jan. 13, 1900, the daughter of Lieu and Nellie Haskins. Her two sisters, Dorothy and Ethel, and her brother, Winfield, predeceased her. Gladys married Theo E. Bronson on Aug. 17, 1927. Their 57-year marriage ended with his death in 1984. Two children, a son, Winfield, and a daughter, Ann, were born to the marriage. Ann died in 1970; Winfield survives his mother. She was a graduate of Longfellow and Draper elementary schools in Madison, and graduated with honors from Madison Central High School in 1918. She received a B.A. with honors from UW-Madison in 1922 and was elected to Phi Kappa Phi in her junior year and Phi Beta Kappa in her senior year. At age 52, she returned to UW-Madison and earned a master's degree in education. She taught first grade at Monona's Nichols School from 1952 until 1965, and enjoyed having contact with many of her former students until the time of her death. Prior to having her family, she was employed as the dean of women students at the Presbyterian Student Center at UW-Madison from 1923 until 1931. Gladys was a YWCA volunteer from 1920 until a few years before her death. She served as president of the board of the YWCA and headed the fund drive that resulted in the purchase of the Belmont Hotel, where the YWCA is currently located. She was also responsible for securing funds necessary to continue Briarpatch at a critical point in its early history. At the time of her death, she was the longest living member of Christ Presbyterian Church, having joined it in 1918. She served two terms as elder from 1966 until 1972, and as president of the Presbyterian Women's Association and chair of the Christian Education Committee. Her other volunteer work included serving as president of the Shorewood League and the Shorewood School PTA. The celebration of her 100th birthday was a great joy to her. She enjoyed seeing and hearing from many old friends and former colleagues. She was invited by Governor Tommy Thompson to be an honored guest at his "State of the State" address at the state capitol in January 2000. She was also selected to be featured in a book of centenarians living in Dane County. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2001, in the community room at ATTIC ANGEL PLACE, 8301 Old Sauk Road, Madison. The Rev. John Thomas will officiate. Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made to HospiceCare Inc., 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, or Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham, Madison, WI 53703. Cress Funeral Service (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 13, 2001; submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)

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