Gladys Sumaza died at home in Sarcoxie, Missouri on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, with her family at bedside. She was diagnosed at the end of June 2012 with advanced lung cancer and chose to decline all futile lifesaving measures. She left this earth with dignity and her last days were pain free and peaceful.
Gladys Louise Letsinger was born in Sarcoxie, Missouri on September 6, 1930 to the late William Roy Letsinger and Susan Hasselbring Letsinger. The Letsinger family consists of four siblings: Katheryn (Don) Carter of Republic, Missouri; Frances Garrett, Rae Letsinger and Joan Letsinger of Sarcoxie.
Gladys graduated from Sarcoxie High School in 1946 and at the age of 21, she went to live in Kansas City, working at an ammunition plant during the Korean War effort. She joined TWA at the age of 23 and worked as a teletype operator in Kansas City, San Francisco and New York City. She retired from the company in 1968 after 15 years of service, enjoying the company’s travel benefits and having made many lifelong friends.
She met her husband William Sumaza in New York City in 1963 and they were married in 1964. Their first child, Michael was born in 1967, followed by their first daughter, Susan in 1969. Bill retired from New York City Transit Authority in 1970 and they immediately relocated to Sarcoxie. Their last child, Erica, was born in 1971.
Gladys spent the remaining years raising her children while Bill worked numerous jobs to support them. Her personal pleasures included reading, attending the annual reunion of former TWA employees and making road trips with and dining out with Bill.
Gladys is survived by her husband who has resided at the Mt. Vernon Veterans Home since 2008 due to health issues related to Parkinson’s; her three children, Michael (Sandra) Sumaza of Harrah, Okla., Susan Vaughan of Sarcoxie and Erica (Jon) Poulson of Willard, Mo.; and eight grandchildren.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening, August 7th from 6-8 p.m. at the Housh-Goodwin Funeral Home in Sarcoxie, Missouri. A funeral service for Gladys will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Sarcoxie where Gladys was baptized, confirmed, married, raised her children, and was a faithful member all her life. Burial will be in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Sarcoxie.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through our website www.housh-goodwinfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction of the Housh-Goodwin Funeral Home in Sarcoxie, Mo.