Gladys Norma Tanner, 89

Published 11:22 am Monday, August 22, 2011

Gladys Norma Tanner, 89, of Austin, Minn., died early Thursday evening, Aug. 18, 2011, at Comforcare Good Samaritan Society in Austin, where she had been living since 2004.

Gladys Tanner

She was born Sept. 2, 1921, to John and Grace (Wilson) Fomasina in Normanton, Queensland, Australia. As a teenager, Gladys was once chosen as “Miss Beach” and “Belle of the Ball.” During WWII, a handsome young Yank, who was stationed in New Guinea and was on leave with some buddies, entered the restaurant in Brisbane where Gladys was working and ordered his favorite breakfast of ham and eggs. He originally told Gladys that his name was George, but soon revealed his true name. The solider and the waitress fell in love immediately and Gladys and Doyle Elwin Tanner, who was born in Brownsdale, Minn., but who later moved to Austin with his family, were married on Sept. 3, 1942, in Australia, a day after her 21st birthday. After the war, Gladys and their first-born child boarded a ship that was outfitted with mine-sweeps and headed for the United States. Doyle met them in California and the young family then moved to Austin, where over the years Gladys and Doyle had four more children. Gladys became a naturalized citizen of the United States in January of 1953. Sadly, Doyle passed away on Oct. 8, 1972.

Gladys Tanner

A member of Grace Baptist Church in Austin, Gladys was active in the Women’s Missionary Group and enjoyed reading, rug-hooking and tending to her plants. She loved and was loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ, her family, and her friends.

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Survivors include her children, Elwin, Kenneth (Susan), Patricia, Joyce, and Linda; grandchildren, Kevin (Shannon), Penny (Vince), Carey, Aaron (Lauren), Ken (Jenni), Wade, Sam, Hollie, Jason, April and May; great-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Andrew, Tanner, Colton, Nathaniel, Kaden, Carson, Areanna, Nile, Brityn, Brooke, Michael, Autumn, Rick, and Steven, plus two “honorary” great-grandchildren, Chris and Bubba; and five sisters.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; father and mother-in-law, Elmer and Eva (Strong) Tanner; daughter-in law, Marlyce “Molly” Tanner (Elwin’s wife), two brothers and five sisters. We miss you Mom, and will see you one day again.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, at Grace Baptist Church in Austin with The Rev. Brett Williams officiating. Friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin and at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial is at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at