Gladys R. Englund, age 96, born in Harvey, ND on October 12, 1926. Died in Roseville, MN on December 20, 2022. Preceded in death by parents, William and Christina Michelson; husband, Barney; 6 sisters; and granddaughters, April Englund and Maria Englund. Survived by sons, William (Lori), Paul, Joseph (Mary); daughter-in-law, Kathleen Bartholomay; grandchildren, Nina Englund, Melissa (Daniel) Larsen, Isak Englund, Kendall (Anthony) Fisher, Jacqueline Englund; great-grandchildren, Emma and William Larsen, Felicity and Charlie Fisher; and many dear nieces and nephews and their families. As a girl herding cows along the Soo Line tracks near Martin, ND, Gladys wondered if she would ever have the good fortune to ride on a train. After graduating from high school, she moved to St. Paul where she found a job as an elevator operator at the Northern Pacific Railroad offices. A sturdy farm girl, from a family of 7 girls and no boys, she always counted herself as strong as a man, and so she was proud of this job where she earned as much as her male coworkers! And it was there, by the grace of God, that she met the love of her life, a handsome, young civil engineer who worked on the 8th floor. In the sixty some years after she first whisked him up to his office in her elevator, their mutual affection and esteem was never failing. In so many aspects of her life, she was astounded by her luck - and nowhere was her good fortune more evident than in her partnership with Barney. They delighted in each other's company, and together they traveled further and faster than the girl herding cows could ever have imagined! From the time they were married in 1951, they wove an intricate, far-reaching tapestry of hospitality, and the institution of "Barney and Gladys" touched many, many lives. In their latter years, when Barney was slowed by Parkinson's, Gladys made every effort to ensure that he could enjoy life to the fullest extent possible, a task that required heroic personal sacrifice, but which she undertook with her whole heart. The expression of God's grace in her life was Joy - and her faith communities were central to the living out of that Joy; it was here that she found her spiritual home in the Body of Christ. Indeed, there was something of the giddiness of Christmas morning in Gladys' approach to each day - the anticipation of something unexpected and delightful - anyone who knew her could testify that she sparkled with it. Throughout her life, her gratitude for her good fortune never diminished - and her response to it was hospitality, and laughter. Guests from far and wide were a regular fixture in her home - all were welcome there. She was forever making beds and meals for a procession of visitors, and when guests were on hand, you could count on a generally raucous affair, full of laughter and "carrying on" with Gladys leading the charge. If you were looking for a spirited game of cribbage or shuffleboard, a bike ride on the beach, a trip to the Boundary Waters or perhaps China; or if you wanted to sit by the fire and read aloud from P.G. Wodehouse and laugh uproariously, Gladys was your Gal! To the end of her days, in spite of memory struggles, the quickness and acid of her wit could still bowl you over! Always and forever, her husband, her sons and their families, will be her heart's delight- precious gifts from her loving God. And in these past five years, she had also become a favorite, honorary "grandma" to her dear caregivers at Sunrise Senior Living. Though it breaks our hearts to say goodbye, we give thanks that her long, long, wait for this day has finally arrived, and we rejoice that her lively spirit will continue to be a powerful (and in the case of her grandchildren, magical) presence in our lives. Funeral service 10:00 AM Wednesday, December 28 at First Baptist Church, 499 Wacouta St., St. Paul. Visitation at the church from 9-10 AM Wednesday.Private interment Trinity Cemetery, Hovland, MN.