Gladys McCrory, 94, a lifelong resident of Cass County, Iowa, died Thursday, July 25, 2019, at Heritage House in Atlantic.
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Gladys Pauline Holland McCrory was born in Audubon County, Iowa to Danish immigrants Jens and Anna Lade Holland on Nov. 21, 1924. The family moved to a farm near Anita in 1929. Gladys and her four siblings attended Grant #4 rural school and Anita High School, where she graduated in May 1942. That fall she started teaching at a one-room rural school and later at elementary schools in several towns in Iowa. During this time, 1946 to 1955, Gladys attended night and summer classes at Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa), graduating in 1959.
On June 23, 1961 she married George McCrory. They lived and worked on the McCrory family farm in Pymosa Township, north of Atlantic. A son, George McCrory, Jr was born in 1964. They raised corn, hay, hogs and cattle. After her husband’s death in 1981, Gladys continued to live on the farm until 1995, when she moved to Atlantic and later to Heritage House in 2017.
She was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, participating in WELCA, Over 60 and Do Day. She was a member of Cass County Farm Bureau Women, Church Women United, the Museum of Danish America.
Gladys was very proud of her Danish heritage and loved sharing that legacy with her grandchildren, especially during the holidays. She kept many Danish traditions in her home.
Survivors include son George and his wife Kellee McCrory of West Branch, Iowa; grandchildren Elizabeth McCrory of Houston, Texas and Samuel McCrory of Iowa City, Iowa; brother Chet (Marge) Holland of Atlantic, Iowa; brother Spence (Betty) Holland of Colorado Springs, Colorado; sister-in-law Peg Holland of Greenfield; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Preceding her in death were husband George McCrory Sr., parents Jens and Anna Holland, sister Imo Jean Griffin, brother Dean Holland, and her in-laws Henry and Elsie McCrory.
Her family will greet friends and relatives Monday evening, July 29, 2019, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Roland Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 30, 10:30 a.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church with Pastor Kelley Pedersen officiating. Interment will be in the Atlantic Cemetery.
Memorials are preferred to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Atlantic, Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn or to the family for a later designation.
Roland Funeral Service is caring for Gladys’ family and her arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.
Reflection from her granddaughter, Elizabeth
Good morning everyone, and thank you so much for being here. My family and I truly appreciate you traveling to Atlantic to celebrate the life of my grandmother, Gladys McCrory.
By trade, my grandmother was a teacher. She taught school around the state of Iowa for many years before returning to Cass County where she started the family that would eventually produce me and my brother, Sam, her two grandchildren. Despite getting out of the traditional teaching field more than 50 years ago, those tendencies never lapsed. My grandma always had something she could teach you.
The full force and effect of her subliminal lesson plans have become more apparent to me over time. She taught Sam and I what it meant to be Iowan, to be Danish, to hail from the respective McCrory and Holland linages. She exemplified thriftiness and was a walking testament to cancelling your cable subscription in favor of spending the afternoon playing dress up or risking tetanus at the park by her house.
She taught us the importance of a midday nap and how to make homemade applesauce, mashed potatoes, and what I still believe to be the best hamburger in the world on her George Forman grill. She taught us what it feels like to know someone loves you and is proud of you and wants to hear about what’s going on in your life every time you talk with them.
As I’ve gotten older, these lessons have manifested themselves in my daily life and I’ve begun I see more and more of her in my daily thoughts and actions, and not just because we were the same size and she handed down some truly iconic vintage dresses.
My grandma was a self-sufficient, independent woman who never failed to tell you what she really thought-- and so am I.
She was headstrong, often stubborn, and prideful of her family and home and community. To me, her version of womanhood is something to strive to, and because of her teaching and her love I am the woman I am today.
Gladys McCrory lived a long, strong, 94 years and we were all fortunate enough to have her in our lives, loving us in her unique way. I hope your memories of my grandmother are as fond and lasting as mine, and that you remember the little lesson she might have taught you. Her legacy will last through these moments and hers is a legacy well worth carrying on.
IN REMEMBRANCE OF
November 21, 1924
Audubon County, Iowa
July 25, 2019
At the age of 94 years, 8 months, 4 days
10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 30, 2019
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Pastor Kelley Pedersen
CONGREGATIONAL MUSICAL SELECTIONS
“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
“What A Friend We Have In Jesus”
Jim & Karol Holland
Chet & Marjorie Holland
Spence & Betty Holland
The family appreciates your care and invites you to join them for
lunch immediately following the service, in the church fellowship hall.