Cover photo for Gladys Mae Engelkemier's Obituary
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1931 Gladys 2023

Gladys Mae Engelkemier

August 9, 1931 — August 7, 2023


August 9, 1931 to August 7, 2023

Gladys Mae VanScyoc was born in Ellsworth, Kans. on Aug. 9, 1931 to Donald Dean and Clara VanScyoc. While living on a family farm, she nurtured animals and learned how to garden.

During her middle school years, her family lived in Wichita, Kans. where she enjoyed PE and singing in school groups. In 10th grade she attended College View Academy in Lincoln, Nebr. While there she began singing with a girls’ quartet and learned to love God through a Week of Prayer. In 11th grade she chose to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist. She graduated as President of her class in 1949.

While attending Union College and working in food service, she met Joe. They were married in August of 1950. They lived in Lincoln, Nebr. for a year, then moved to Colorado, where Joe taught for two years and their first child, Joetta Mae, was born. Returning to Lincoln, Joe finished his degree and their second child, Marvin Joe, was born.

The family moved to Glendale, Calif. where Joe taught for 14 years and their last child, Edwin Dean was born. Living close to school, Gladys did a lot of babysitting until their three children were old enough for school. She supported Joe’s “Camping Club” at Glendale Academy by organizing and cooking for waterskiing trips, snow skiing trips, backpacking trips, and summer camp retreats. When her children started school, she began work as the director of the Glendale Academy cafeteria.

In 1968 the family moved to Auburn Academy where Joe was pastor-Bible teacher and Gladys worked as a supervisor in the cafeteria. In 1970 Joe began work for the GC Education Department on an academy Bible textbook program. Living in Berrien Springs, the Engelkemier children attended Andrews schools, and the family continued to house other students in need. Gladys worked at Andrews University as a supervisor in Food Service for over 26 years. She and Joe housed over 31 students throughout their career as educators. Gladys enjoyed gardening, studying birds, and hosting family and friends.

Following Joe’s death in 2009, Gladys nurtured her large family, living “life as a celebration” of birthdays and holidays. She kept in touch through cards and calls with many previous “house guests” for her remaining 13 years. She praised the Lord for His love and care and for her children.

Living two days shy of 92 years, Gladys was preceded in death by her spouse, Joe; her son, Ed; her sister, Glenice; and her grandson, Matthias.

She is survived by her children, Joetta and Marvin; 10 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.

Private graveside services are planned at Rose Hill Cemetery. Messages and memories may be shared at

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