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Gladys M. Haapala

Gladys Maybelle Haapala, age 87, of Dassel, died Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007, at the Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield.

She was born May 5, 1920 in Benson, Minn., the daughter of Olaf and Gusta (Pedersen) Strom. Gladys was baptized and confirmed at the Lake Hazel Lutheran Church in rural Benson.

She grew up in Benson and graduated from the Benson High School in 1937. In 1942, Gladys attended the Brown Radio and Electronics Institute in Minneapolis, and took an advanced communications course in Chicago, Ill.

During World War II, Gladys was employed as a radio communications and weather specialist by the Civil Aeronautics Administration at airbases in North Dakota and Illinois.

Gladys was united in marriage to Bruce Haapala Jan. 27, 1946, at the Immanual Lutheran Church in Benson. They made their home in the Dassel area, where they raised their four children.

Gladys enjoyed the time that she would spend with her family, and especially enjoyed her grandchildren. She loved to spend time in her rose garden, reading, golfing, bowling, working crossword puzzles, and traveling around the country.

She was active in the Gethsemane Lutheran Church Women, and the Federated Women’s Club organizations of Dassel.

In 1970, Gladys started selling real estate, and received her broker’s license in 1974.

She will deeply be missed by her family and friends.

Gladys is survived by her daughters, Karin and (Mike) Colberg of Dassel, and Becky (Jim) Jennings of Grand Rapids; four grandchildren, Shawn Colberg, Shane Colberg, Jessa Roy, and Hattie Gould; and six great-grandchildren, Hunter, Haley and Reece Roy, Mason and Evan Gould, and Mary Clare Colberg

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bruce; son Mason; daughter Diana McGarry; sister Olga Johnson; and brothers, Robert Strom and Leonard Strom.

A memorial service took place Friday, Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel with the Revs. John Peterson and Steven Olson officiating. Music was provided by organist Florine Osness and soloist Sheldon Hedin, who sang “Beautiful Savior.” Hymns were “Borning Cry,” Faith of our Fathers,” and “You Are Mine.” Interment of the urn took place at the Dassel Cemetery.

There was a time to gather with family and friends one hour prior to the service Friday.

Arrangements were handled by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.