Wednesday, May 5, 2021
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
The Rosary will be recited at 7PM.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Devoted to the family she loved, Gladys Sudeikis lived her life to the fullest. She modeled a strong work ethic and savored each and every moment she was surrounded by her family. Gladys leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories and a positive outlook on life for her friends and family to cherish forever.
Her story began during a time that was marked by WWII. During the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gladys was welcomed home on March 10, 1942 in upstate New York. Later joined by her two younger brothers, Walter and Edward, her birth brought much joy and promise in an era of great change. Her father taught violin and played piano during their time in New York and relocated his young family to Kalamazoo to start work at the Upjohn company by the time she was three years old.
Much of her childhood years were spent in the Kalamazoo area. Some early medical issues with Scarlet fever, heart issues, and breaking her back while roller skating at a young age paved the way to her early interests in the medical field. Gladys attended local schools starting at Roosevelt School on east Main then spent some time in Comstock before graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School. During her years as a young teen, she worked at the local soda stand before pursuing her interest in nursing. Gladys graduated with her degree as a registered nurse from Borgess Hospital School of Nursing / Nazareth College. She was immensely proud of the program. She was taught by the sisters of St. Joseph and their class was ranked 5th in the nation! Upon her graduation ceremony she had already been offered three jobs. Studious and quick on her feet, she started in the Emergency Room before landing her position as the Head Nurse of ER at Borgess Medical Center where she remained for many years. Gladys was the first person in Kalamazoo to be certified to run a defibrillator. She always enjoyed taking tender care of the elderly and was certified as a gerontology nurse where she served at Friendship Village for 28 years.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the meeting of John Sudeikis who would change the course of her life forever. Gladys lived across the street from his boss and John was smitten from the moment he laid eyes on her! They dated for some time and Gladys converted to Catholicism before they joined in marriage on August 28, 1965 at St. Joseph Church in Kalamazoo. The happy couple ventured up north for their short honeymoon before returning to work the following Monday. Together they welcomed four wonderful children into their hearts and home.
As a mother, Gladys was very involved. Although she worked outside the home, she was invested in their special interests over the years. She was always supportive and encouraging and wanted nothing more than to celebrate in their every success. She and John instilled in their children the value of family and a faith-filled life. They attended St. Augustine Church where all four children attended school before later transferring back to St. Joseph. Her children remember that she was always accepting of others and treated their friends as family. A lover of hugs, no one was made to feel a stranger in her presence.
Gladys lived a life full of many blessings and special interests. She loved to spend time in her garden tending to her flower beds. A natural artist, Gladys loved to create art. Her many paintings and original writing and poetry are cherished by her children. She spent time crafting unique gifts as well as clothes for Barbara and Margaret and Halloween costumes. She loved to bake and decorate themed cakes for special celebrations. An avid reader, she loved to trade books with her close friends. She didn’t travel much but stayed especially close to her cousins in New York and had several life-long friendships.
Balancing her family time with activities she enjoyed throughout the community, Gladys loved to volunteer. She remained active at Nazareth College, the Daughters of American Revolution, the Kalamazoo Garden Club, the Marion Guild at St. Augustine, and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Gladys loved the joy of Christmas time and enjoyed special trips to see the holiday lights and decorations around town. She was thrilled to be a grandmother and never missed an opportunity to attend one of her grandkids’ performances. Each of them were very special to her.
Although she struggled with back pain throughout her life and it eventually was the sole reason she retired, Gladys never complained. She used a walker in the late 1990s until she later used an electric cart to move around by the year 2000. No matter the pain she faced, her good sense of humor and grateful heart guided her throughout her life. Described as gentle but fierce, Gladys will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. May her family and dear friends honor her life by continuing to share her welcoming and jovial spirit with all those seeking special guidance and support in the years to come.
Gladys A. Sudeikis, age 79, of Kalamazoo, Michigan died on May 1, 2021 in Kalamazoo. She is survived by her three children; Barbara Sudeikis, John Sudeikis, Jr., and Mary (Arthur) Cordova; four grandkids; Andrea, Marisa, Jack, and James; her two brothers: Walter Murphy and Ed (Brenda) Murphy; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, John in 2015; daughter, Margaret Sudeikis in 2015; infant brother, John Murphy; parents Walter A. and Gladys Murphy; sister-in-law Madeline Murphy and sister-in-law: Mary and William Nolan. Visit with family on friends on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes 6080 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM Thursday, May 6, 2021, at St. Joseph Church 936 Lake Street in Kalamazoo. Memorial contributions may be made to Alamo Nursing Home.