Gladys Joy Gold Van de Merwe (88) passed away peacefully on 25 December 2017. She was blessed to be reunited with her eternal companion, John Van de Merwe, Jr., on Christmas Day. She was born November 6, 1929 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Cyrus William Gold and Edith Annie Benfell. She came from a large family of 16 brothers and sisters. This very busy household created in her a love for social gatherings and an interest in others.
She had a happy childhood and formed friendships that lasted for over 80 years. She met John, the love of her life, 2 weeks after his arrival from Holland. They courted with the aid of an English-Dutch dictionary and were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on April 4, 1950. They built their home in Bountiful, Utah where they resided fro 68 years.
Gladys was a devoted mother to six children: Becky Joy Jensen (Del), Jan (Martha), Judi Conner (Rick), Jewel Marchant (Gary), Tim (Linda), and Jed (Jill). She was happy to be a full-time homemaker all her life. She loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ and created a Christ-centered home. She was a woman of absolute faith and never doubted nor wavered in her testimony of Jesus Christ. She dedicated her life to serving family, church and community. She was faithful in many church callings and served a full-time mission with her husband in the Bountiful Temple. Her strong testimony and missionary zeal is evidenced by 37 missionaries serving from her posterity.
Gladys was happiest when planning social events. She lived by the motto: A day is good if it includes a party. With a posterity numbering 122 (and counting) she was always busy keeping up with births, baptisms, ordinations, performances, graduations, weddings, reunions, and birthdays. She insisted on a celebration for each. She loved everyone and everyone loved her.
Throughout her life, Gladys had an interest in poetry and enjoyed sharing her gift. Her hobbies also included tennis, elocution, music, traveling, temple services, and Scrabble. Even though her eyes dimmed through the years, her love of life and concern for other never did. She was cheerfully interested in all. This kept her forever young.
She is survived by two sister, Barbara Ann Weight and Lettie Foote Starkey. She was preceded in death by her husband and two grandsons.
Funeral services will be held at 11:a.m., Saturday, December 30, 2017 at the Moss Hill Ward, 455 South 1200 East, Bountiful. A viewing will be held Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main, and Saturday morning 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the church prior to services.