Gladys Ellis Bredenberg, 26 Nov 1926 – 19 May 2018 (Obituary for my mother)

Gladys Ellis Bredenberg
November 26, 1926 – May 19, 2018

GEB1982Gladys Ellis Bredenberg died at the age of 91, on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Sunrise North Hills Senior Living, Raleigh, NC, where she had resided since 2014.

Gladys Bredenberg came to Raleigh in 1950 with her husband, Paul Arnold Bredenberg (October 24,1923 – November 15, 2009). Together, the Bredenbergs raised a family and developed deep roots in the community. Gladys studied at North Carolina State University, taught English and reading in public schools, and operated a tutoring service specializing in remedial education.

Gladys Marie Ellis was born November 26, 1926, in Georgetown, SC, daughter of Buchanan Carmel Ellis (1879-1939) and Ola Belle Dukes Ellis (1904-1994). The Ellis family moved to Kingstree, SC, about 1930. Gladys attended Kingstree High School starting in September 1939 and graduated in May 1943.

After finishing high school, Gladys moved to Charleston, SC. She was working in Charleston, when she met Paul A. Bredenberg, who was at the naval base in Charleston for the decommissioning of his ship after World War II. They were married in Charleston in 1947. From 1947 to 1950, they lived in New Haven, CT, where Paul completed his graduate-school education.

In 1950, the Bredenbergs moved to Raleigh, NC, where Paul began working as assistant professor at North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University, NCSU).
Gladys and Paul’s first son, Alfred Roy Bredenberg, was born in 1951 and their second son, Jeffrey Ellis Bredenberg, in 1953. When the boys were small, the family lived on Carlton Avenue in Raleigh, near the college campus. For the academic year of 1955 to 1956, the family lived temporarily in Palo Alto, CA, where Paul studied at Stanford University. In 1962, they moved to their new home on Crump Road in Raleigh, adjacent to an extensive tract of North Carolina state farmland, which is now NCSU’s Centennial Campus.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Gladys studied English at NCSU and obtained her bachelor of arts degree with high honors in May 1970. She went on to earn an M.Ed. from Duke University in 1974, with specialization in reading. She obtained teaching certificates in reading and English, and spent seven years in public-school classrooms, teaching English, language arts, and remedial classes. Gladys later started her own practice as a private tutor, specializing in reading.

After retiring in 1986, the Bredenbergs spent many glorious days at their vacation house near Sparta in the North Carolina mountains. Gladys enjoyed volunteer work, including reading for the blind and visiting nursing-home residents. The couple celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary in Raleigh on June 21, 1997, in conjunction with a large Bredenberg-Ellis family reunion.

In 1998, Paul and Gladys left their Crump Road home and moved to Whitaker Glen, a lovely retirement community in Raleigh, where they enjoyed the company of many long-time friends and acquaintances. In March 2009, Paul entered Mayview Convalescent Center, where, sadly, he died in November. Gladys was further grieved by the death a few months later of her younger son, Jeffrey, who died at home in Oreland, PA, on March 2, 2010, after a long illness.

In 2014, Gladys moved to Sunrise North Hills, an assisted living facility near the home of her surviving son, Alfred, and daughter-in-law, Virginia. At Sunrise, she received much kind attention and assistance from skilled care managers and nurses at the facility. While limited by her health, Gladys enjoyed several peaceful years at Sunrise, interacting with acquaintances in the Sunrise dining room, participating in group activities, and receiving visits, phone calls, and letters from friends and relatives.

Gladys suffered a stroke on May 8, 2018. Unable to recover, she died on Saturday evening, May 19, 2018, in her own room at Sunrise North Hills.

Gladys Ellis Bredenberg is survived by her son, Alfred R. Bredenberg, and wife Virginia, of Raleigh, NC; her brother, Jack B. Ellis and wife Rosa, of Santa Rosa Beach, FL; her daughter-in-law, Stacey Burling, of Oreland, PA; and grandchildren Paul W. Bredenberg, Adam Bredenberg, Colin Bredenberg, Bevan Quinn, and Mauireen Quinn Bell.

An informal gathering for family, friends, and acquaintances of Gladys will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at 1 p.m., at Sunrise Senior Living of North Hills, 615 Spring Forest Rd., Raleigh, NC 27609. Friends and family will be invited to share experiences and remembrances.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Rex Healthcare Foundation, 2500 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 325, Raleigh, NC 27607.

 

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