Gladys Ernestine Fries, 68, of Amarillo, Texas, died November 4, 2018, following a lengthy illness.
She was born December 30, 1949, in Townsend, Montana, the youngest of the 10 children of Julius and Pauline Fries of White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Her early years were spent on the family ranch in the Castle Mountains of central Montana before the ranch was sold and the family moved to White Sulphur Springs and then to Orem, Utah.
Gladys graduated from Orem High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Brigham Young University. She moved to Plainview, Texas, in the 1970s and spent many years as caregiver for her developmentally delayed sister, Patricia (Patty) Fries, and for her mother as her health failed.
A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she served a mission for the church in Germany from 1989 to 1991. She arrived in Berlin the day the Berlin Wall was breached. She also served for many years as a teacher in the Church’s Primary organization, as well as a group leader for single adults.
Gladys moved to Amarillo in the early 1990s, seeking better health care for Patty and educational and employment opportunities. She gained her special education certification from West Texas A&M University in 1994 and spent several years teaching special education students at Caprock High School. She loved special needs children and volunteered many years with the Special Olympics organization.
Gladys is survived by one brother, Stan Fries of Deer Lodge, MT, sisters-in-law Marsha Fries of Great Falls, MT, and Bette Fries of East Helena, MT, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Anna Fish, Margaret Hansen, Patty Fries and Katherine Shropshire; and brothers Julius G. (Jerry) Fries, Ernest Fries, Earl Fries and Orville Fries.
A memorial service will held Saturday, November 10 at 1:00 PM at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5400 Bell Street, Amarillo, TX.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to Special Olympics or a charity of your choice.