Because he was in the ROTC, they were secretly married on March 22, 1940, eloping to Carlsbad, N.M., with Beulah and Daddy Charles in the back seat. They announced their marriage during the end of the school year’s Coronation Ball, where Gladys was also announced as her class’s Favorite Princess. What a night that must have been. They remained married for 57 years until Tommy’s passing on July 17, 1997. Early in their marriage they were separated while Tommy served his country fighting in the “European Theater” during World War II. He was part of the 134 Infantry Regiment, 35th Infantry Division, and was awarded with a Bronze Star.
Upon Tommy’s return, their journey together continued. They raised four boys, participated in various oil and gas ventures, farmed and ranched in Artesia, Hobbs and Mountain View, N.M., and Alpine, Eagle Pass, Burleson, Thorpe Springs and finally in Graham, Texas. Together they owned and operated Jeter Lumber Company and built hundreds of homes starting in College Station, then Odessa, Fort Stockton, Andrews and later in Arlington, Dallas, Tyler and Marshall. They also owned the Howard House Hotel in Big Springs and the Flamingo Truck Stop in Weatherford.
Gladys was a wonderful, loving provider for her family. She had a great sense of humor, relished family gatherings and maintained her faith throughout the many hardships she endured. She overcame cancer three times and was a source of inspiration to others stricken by the disease. She was always active in her church serving whenever and wherever needed. Outside of her home, a few of her individual honors included serving as the chair person of Tri-County Republican Women and being elected president of State Republican Women’s Party. She was also commissioned as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” in 1989 by Gov. Bill Clements. In addition, she was active with the Friends of the Library Club and the Weatherford Newcomers Club.