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Obituary - Gladys B. "Minnie" Pancake


October 30, 2017

Courtesy photo

Gladys Pancake

Gladys B. "Minnie" Pancake, age 95, died of natural causes at her home in Boise surrounded by her family Aug. 21, 2017.

She was born Oct. 9, 1922, to George and Harriett L. Watson in Rosemary, Alberta, Canada, where her parents homesteaded after leaving their home near St. Anthony, Idaho. The family eventually moved to Charlo, MT, and later to Harlem, MT, where Gladys attended high school. 

While working at the movie theatre in Harlem she met her future husband, Stanley W. Pancake, whom she married Sept. 28, 1940. The couple moved to Stanley's family farm north of Wagner, MT, where they farmed for seven years. It was here that Gladys helped raise her stepson, Jerry, and gave birth to three girls Sharon, Sally and Susan. These were hard years with many poor crops and living in a small house with no electricity and no indoor plumbing. She cooked on a wood burning stove, their only source of heat. 

Stanley left farming for work on the Great Northern Railroad in Havre, MT, where he was promoted to locomotive engineer. In time, they built a home and Gladys gave birth to a son, Joe. In Havre she enjoyed living near her parents, her brothers and sister and their families. A lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she raised her children in the church, and shared her talents while selflessly fulfilling many church callings.

Gladys was a tireless homemaker, good neighbor, who enjoyed attending sporting events, participating in team bowling and serving in railroad auxiliary organizations. She was deeply devoted to her family and supported her children in all their school functions and other activities. When Stanley retired they moved to Victoria, B.C., for two years and then returned to their Montana roots and settled in Hamilton, MT, for almost 30 years. Their lives were filled with traveling to visit family and new destinations such as New Zealand and Hawaii. Gladys worked for two years at Fords Department Store where she found new independence and friends. She lost her beloved Stanley in 1997 and moved to Boise, ID, the next year to be near her children. All who knew her were touched by her enthusiasm, quick wit, wonderful smile and selfless service. She lived a beautiful life and was incredibly special to so many.

Gladys is survived by her four children, Sharon (Russell) Bitz, Sally (Ronald) Saunders, Susan (John) Rutter and Joe Pancake; 12 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Stanley W. Pancake; her son, John Jerome (Jerry) Pancake and her siblings.

The void is wide, but it will fill over time as we continue to see her legacy played out in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The family would like to express our thanks for the help and care provided by Complete Care Hospice, and to her granddaughter Shelly Elliott, who lovingly cared for her grandmother for three weeks prior to her passing.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, noon, with a visitation beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the LDS Meetinghouse, 2300 E. Bergeson St., Boise, ID 83706. The interment will be at the Morris Hill Cemetery.

To leave condolences please visit http://www.bowmanfuneral.com.


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