Gladys Naomi Freund Welsh, 97, entered into eternal life on February 2, 2019 surrounded by her loving family and friends.
Born in Bayonne, NJ on February 26, 1921, she was the daughter of the late Henry F. and Maude H. (Macdonald) Freund and sister to the late Harry F. Freund (Ruth).
Gladys was raised in West New Brighton, Staten Island (SI). She attended a one room schoolhouse, PS 18, and PS 45. Gladys graduated from Curtis High School in 1938 and attended Brandon-Stevens Secretarial School, SI. In 1938, Gladys survived a perilous journey on the last ferry boat crossing the New York Harbor during the Great New England Hurricane. Determined, Gladys reached home, clinging to light poles that served as her guide. During WWII, Gladys volunteered for the Red Cross and worked 9 years for the Federal Reserve Bank of NY in the War Bond and Financial Statistics Dept.
Gladys married Raymond T. Welsh Jan 4, 1948. In 1949, they moved to Lancaster, NY where they raised 4 children. The family moved to Schenectady where Gladys worked for General Electric Co. as a secretary in the large steam turbine Building 52 from March 1969-March 1981.
In retirement, Gladys volunteered for Literacy Volunteers, and delivered Meals on Wheels with her husband for 12 years. Gladys and Ray were jointly recognized for their volunteer service. Gladys was a long-time parishioner of Zion Lutheran Church where she was an active member of the Altar Guild.
Gladys loved gardening, singing, reading mysteries, and scrapbooking, especially for her grandchildren. Gladys’s faith in God was central to her life and character. She was filled with faith, hope, and love. Her gentleness and strength inspired people to choose kindness, especially in the face of adversity. Gladys saw beauty in the poetry she read, the flowers she tended, the animals she loved, and the places she travelled. She treasured Crater Lake, OR, Keene Valley, NY, and Zion National Park, UT, terming them “Parts of God’s Paradise.” Gladys expressed her deep love of family and friends through her dedicated letter writing, delicious cookies, and generous hugs. Her optimistic personality is best described by an inscription accompanying her high school yearbook photo: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Prov. 15:13).
Gladys was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. She was predeceased by her loving husband of 69 years, Raymond, infant son William James, and infant grandson Keith Allan McDougal. Survivors include her children: Stephen Welsh (Florence) of Troy, NY, Ann Rogers (Christopher) of Camillus, NY, Linda Welsh (Roger McDougal) of Clifton Springs, NY, Eileen Ruske (Ross) of Vienna, VA; her nine grandchildren: Megan and Kylie Welsh, Phoebe McDougal (Dan Rodríguez) and Audrey McDougal, Christopher Rogers, Kyle, Jillian, Michael, and Caitlin Ruske; and beloved nephews Robert Freund (Anne Greenwood), Bruce Freund (Kathleen), William Freund; and friends.
The family thanks The Community Hospice for their support. Special thanks go to past and current caregivers, especially, Connie, Carole, and Karen, and Dr. Carolyn Eaton, Dr. John Nolan, Dr. Victoria Varga, Dr. Timothy Lam, and Therese Russo, and their staff. Additional thanks go to Rev. Dr. S. Dugan.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 pm on Thursday, Feb 7th at Jones Funeral Home, Inc., 1503 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12309. Eucharist for Christian Burial will be held at 9am on Friday, Feb 8th at Zion Lutheran Church, 153 Nott Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12308. Internment at Saratoga National Cemetery will immediately follow the services at 12:30pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Zion Lutheran Church, the City Mission of Schenectady, or Doctors Without Borders.