Gladys Faye (Shelton) Durham, 90, was born April 18, 1919, in Houston, Mo., to Fred and Laura Jane (Mitchell) Shelton. She passed away Jan. 10, 2010, at Cox South Hospital in Springfield, Mo., after a long and courageous battle against cancer.

She was united in marriage to Gilford William Durham on Dec. 12, 1942, at Houston.

Gladys was preceded in death by her father and mother; her husband, Gilford; three brothers, Alva, Mitch and Milburn; two sisters, Hazel Gentry and Pauline Castor; and one great-grandson, Landon Gauge Bivens.

She is survived by a son, Max Durham and wife, Gloria, of Strafford, Mo.; a daughter, Kathy Buchholz and husband, Don, of Ozark, Mo.; five grandchildren, Devin Durham and wife Amy, Jason Durham and wife Tammy, Stacie Richmond and husband Tony, all of Springfield, Mo., Ashley Bivens and husband Fehron and Justin Buchholz of Ozark, Mo.; five great-grandchildren, Bryce, Breanne, Shelby, Caitie and Jeremy.

Gladys was baptized as a child in the Piney River down around the Cleveland community. She attended Houston Freewill Baptist Church for the past 40 years.

Gladys spent her childhood in the Cleveland neighborhood near Houston and attended Cleveland School from grades 1 through 8. She graduated from Houston High School in the late 1930s. She attended Missouri State Teacher’s College in Springfield and returned to teach for a short while at Cleveland School.

Gladys had a great love of caring for children, and throughout the years she provided tender, nurturing care for countless numbers of children in her home, even into the last years of her life. She enjoyed tending to her vegetable garden, especially her prized tomatoes. The greatest joy for Gladys was inviting family and friends into her home and preparing meals, desserts and coffee for them, always encouraging them to stay a little longer and eat another bite of her delicious food. Everyone knew they were always welcome at Gladys’ house.

She will be greatly missed by all as she was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.evansfh.com.

Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at Evans Funeral Home. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, in the Evans Funeral Home Chapel with Danny Delcour officiating. Burial will be in the Pinelawn Cemetery. A meal for all attending will be served following the services at the Freewill Baptist Church in Houston. Services were under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.

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