A New Year’s eve Wyoming blizzard kept Asa and Mary Johnston worried about the arrival of their second child. Knowing they were unable to get Mary to the hospital, they called for the doctor to try and get to them. Gladys Marie was born at the family homestead on the Park and Big Horn County line, on Jan. 3, 1943.
Growing up on the farm with her older sister Betty, both girls had a love for animals and gardening that continued on throughout their lives. They learned how to work hard and how to make do with what they had. Gladys attended school in Powell and graduated third highest in her class in 1961. She later attended Northwest College, graduating in 1963.
On Nov. 23, 1963, she married Lloyd McNeil of Cody. Soon the arrival of Cindy Sue, then Justin Lloyd and later Sandra Lynn, rounded out their family. They made their home in Powell, Byron and Deaver areas. After they divorced in 1977, Gladys moved her family from Deaver to Lovell, as she started her longtime career as the bookkeeper for The Lovell Chronicle. Gladys was always resourceful at bringing in extra income and was a dog groomer in her home for many years.
Gladys retired from the newspaper after 36 years and carried on a love of painting. She began teaching summer art camps for the Lovell Recreation District and spent many years helping youngsters find a love for art. She was a great teacher.
Gladys loved her church and had a strong lifelong faith. She served the Lord by playing the piano and organ for the First Southern Baptist Church in Powell and taught arts and crafts at vacation bible school and Sunday school. Although Gladys was handed many difficulties throughout her life; she drew closer to God and found strength to survive through her faith.
Gladys was preceded in death by her parents, her son Justin, her sister Betty, and grandchildren Ashlee Bean and Josh.
She is survived by her daughters Cindy Asay and Sandy (Mike) Wilson, son-in-law Mike Asay, grandchildren Levi (Kayla) Asay and Howard (Lacee) Asay, Toree McNeil, Samantha Mickelson, Kallee Jo Wilson and Jessee (Dani) Wilson, Miranda (Jake) Wolff, and Steven McNeil Nedved and 13 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by brother-in-law Ralph Wensky and his children, Ralph Jr. (Shawna) and Carla (Ben); and her special church and work families.
Services will be held at Lovell Bible Church on Friday, Jan. 17 at 10 a.m., with graveside services following at Lovell Cemetery.