Gladys Marie Zard was born in Brule County on February 21, 1926 to Katherine and Anton Michalek. She grew up on a farm near Reliance and cared for her father, four brothers and her mother, ill with cancer. After her mother passed away, Gladys graduated from Reliance High School and attended business college. During World War II, she worked for Western Union in Chicago. When the war ended she moved back to Mitchell and married Charles Rex Zard in 1947.
In the early 1950s the Zards moved to Orange, California where Gladys began to make a new home for their four children. She mastered every skill it took from brick laying, woodworking and upholstering to landscaping, gardening and decorating. Her crafts included quilting, sewing and needlework.
Gladys and Rex moved back to Mitchell in 1978 where they owned and operated Burr Street Rentals and Saw Shop. Recently, Gladys and Rex resided at Firesteel Health Care Center. Gladys formed many friendships there and referred to the staff that cared for her as her “girls.”
Gladys loved her family and centered her life on their needs. She believed that Jesus was her savior and prayed every day. Her favorite saying was “This too shall pass.”
She is survived by her husband, Rex, two daughters: René (Bob) Pruitt, Letcher; Janine (Mike) Oppenheimer, Orange, CA; two sons: Rex Zard (Rena), Bakersfield, CA; Bruce Zard (Vickie), Grass Valley, CA; seven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by one sister and four brothers.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to You’ll Never Walk Alone Breast Cancer Foundation at http://www.ynwalone.com.