Mrs. Hallford died Sunday, July 1, 2012, following an extended illness.
Born Dec. 25, 1923, in Demorest, she was the daughter of the late Perry James and Willie May Taylor Southerland. She was the first born of four children and was the Christmas baby. Gladys helped her mother May to raise her three siblings, J.C., Evelyn and Bobby. Gladys was an athlete at Habersham High School, playing many sports including basketball. She later became Miss Habersham High School before graduating.
She met her future husband, William Lewis (Pat) Hallford, during her senior year in high school. They married on Mother’s Day, May 9, 1942. She attended Piedmont College on an athletic scholarship, graduating with a degree in elementary education.
Gladys taught elementary school in Clarkesville for several years and taught Sunday School at the United Methodist Church. She also taught in Aragon (1955-57), where she was a Girl Scout troop leader, and in Augusta at Lake Forest Hills (1957-58). She and Pat had two daughters, Joan Teresa (Abernathy) and Elizabeth Ann (Panichi/Markarian).
In 1958, she moved to Tehran, Iran, with her family and taught at The American School (TAS) for six years. She became a world traveler, creating educational tours for her family throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
Her last two years of teaching were in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada from 1967-69. After that, Gladys devoted her life to Pat as well as her extended family, including her grandchildren, Daniel Abernathy, Michael Panichi and Lisa Emerson.
Gladys and Pat moved back to Greenville, S.C., in 1973 and Gladys lived there in her dream home for more than 30 years. She enjoyed being a full-time homemaker and finally having the time to read her extensive library, garden and sew. In 2004, Gladys and Pat retired to Clarkesville.
She was known for her selfless personality, her loving, caring nature, her beautiful smile and gracious laugh. She loved her family and students, their well-being always being the most important part of her life. She was a gentle and kindhearted woman and loved by all who were fortunate enough to know her. She set a high standard of integrity and honesty for all of her family to emulate. She was always looking for opportunities to give to those she loved and did so unselfishly, consistently shying away from praise. Gladys never complained about anything but happily took care of everyone else. She will be greatly missed.
She was preceded in death by her husband Pat in 2010, and her two brothers, J.C. and Bobby.
She is survived by her sister Evelyn, her two daughters, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
If you would like to attend the Celebration of Life service, send a note to 3200 Deer Creek Dr., Canton, GA 30114; or leave a message at the Mountainview Funeral Home website.
You may sign the family guest book and send condolences online at mountainviewfuneralhome.com.
Mountain View Funeral Home, Blairsville, is in charge of the arrangements.
The Northeast Georgian
July 11, 2012