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Gladys Irene McClaran Carr…February 23, 1916 – March 23, 2016

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Graveside memorial services for Gladys Carr will be held at 4:00 p.m. on April 9, 2016 at the Springfield Cemetery.

Gladys Irene (McClaran) Carr, second daughter and youngest of five children born to Chester Brantz and Ivy Dell (Moreland) McClaran, was born at approximately 2:00 a.m. February 23, 1916 on a farm at the edge of the Cheyenne Indian Reservation near Dane, Major County, Oklahoma.  During the morning of the 23rd, Chief White Eagle of the Cheyennes came through the yard and asked if the white papoose had been born; when told she had, he asked to see her.  She was indeed a ‘white’ papoose, and to White Eagle this was a good omen.  He tried to barter his most prized possessions- his dogs, his hunting knife, and his horse- for her; and when she became a toddler she was watched very closely to insure that the Chief did not steal her.

In August 1919, Gladys moved to Baca County, Colorado with her parents, her sister, and her brothers, Chester and Robert, where she lived until September 1935.  She attended grade schools at Fairview (which burned down), Prairie Queen, and Pritchett.  High School found her at Pritchett for two years, Kim for one year, and graduating from Princeton, Missouri High School in 1934.  A deep admiration for a cousin, Edith Cobb Hughes, a school teacher turned secretary; caused her to decide at a very early age she was going to be a secretary.  During her final year of high school she had the opportunity to learn shorthand and typing, and for 44 years the secretarial field was her principal endeavor.

Three weeks after graduating from high school she was employed in the office of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in Springfield, Colorado, where she worked for a little more than a year.  Having received from the Methodist Church a two-year half-tuition scholarship to Denver University, she enrolled for the winter quarter of 1936 in the School of Commerce.  But working as a waitress in a hotel dining room for board and room, and in the office of the College Registrar for the other half of her tuition did not leave sufficient time for study; so she dropped out of college at the end of the summer term and went to work at the Mine and Smelter Supply Company at 17th and Blake Streets in Denver.

It was during this time she met and married Dale Francis Schneck of Denver.  The marriage did not work out, and in the summer of 1940 she went to California where she lived and worked in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and Pasadena for the next fourteen years.  In 1948 she became executive secretary to the Production Manager of Dicalite Division, Great Lakes Carbon Corporation, Owned by the Skakel Family of New York.

In this capacity she met James Arthur Carr who was superintendent of the firm’s diatomaceous earth plant at Terrebonne, Oregon.  On August 27, 1954 they were married at Powell Butte, Deschutes County, Oregon, and lived for approximately on year in Redmond, Oregon before Art joined the Kenite Company, another diatomaceous earth plant in Quincy, Washington.

The crude in the various quarries became quite wet, making processing a quality product very difficult, if not impossible.  The owner was convinced that the bureau of Reclamations’ irrigation project in the area had caused the water table to rise sufficiently to create the wetness; and he was planning to sue the United States Government for damages.  Art did not agree, and he was discharged.  Later, Art was called by the Government as an expert witness in the case.

In the fall of 1957, Art was hired as Consultant for a pozzalin (low-grade diatomaceous earth) plant.  A sub-contractor supplying additive for concrete being used in the construction of the power plant at Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River in Grant County, Washington.  In November 1957 Gladys became Office Supervisor for another of the sub-contractors, English Electric, Ltd. of England, and Art and Gladys moved from Quincy to the dam site; and within a few months into the small town of Mattawa.

Art’s work came to an end in the fall of 1959 and they bought a rooming/boarding house to give Art something to do with his time.  Gladys continued working for English Electric until the end of the contract in February 1962.

In the summer of 1962 she started counting fish at Priest Rapids Dam, and in 1963 when an opening developed in the office of the owner/operator, Grant County Public Utility District, she became Departmental Secretary for the two-dam project (Priest Rapids and Wanapum Dams), which position she held until her retirement on April 30, 1978.

In March of 1963 Gladys and Art ventured into the chinchilla business on a limited scale, but with plans for considerable expansion as time went on.  Things were proceeding according to planned when Art died of a heart attack on July 3, 1964.  Gladys continued with the chinchillas until late in 1975 when she began to phase out the operation in preparation for retirement.  After winning many ribbons and trophies at branch and regional shows, the crowning achievement came in March 1976 when, at the Empress Chinchilla National Mutation Show in Seattle, Washington, she had the Grand Show Champion, a black male.

From October  1962 until July 1977, Gladys was Clerk-Treasurer of the Town of Mattawa, performing those duties evenings and weekends in addition to her other responsibilities.

She retired April 30, 1978 and returned to the land of her childhood-Baca County, Colorado- to make her home among the nieces and nephews living there; and to be closer to the rest of her family from whom she had been so far away for far too many years.  After returning to Baca County for a few years she continued to move around making Pueblo, Colorado, La Junta, Colorado, Springdale, Arkansas, Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, and Walsh, Colorado her home until returning back to Springfield in 2012 where she remained until her death on March 23, 2016 at the age of 100.

Gladys is survived by two nieces, and her many great nieces and nephews as well as great-great nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Art Carr; siblings, Nelson, Robert, Chester, and Lilly Mae; and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Southeast Colorado Hospital LTC Center in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052.

For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit www.valleymemorialfc.com.

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