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Gladys May Krull Wilson Pejsa passed from those who loved her to those who are waiting for her in
heaven on October 30, 2021. Gladys was born October 5, 1923 in Corsica, South Dakota, the daughter of
George and Dena (Van Heest) Krull.
Gladys graduated from Corsica High School in 1941 and obtained her BS and MS degrees from the
Southern State College and University of South Dakota, Springfield /Vermillion. While in college, Gladys
was active in the drama club and had several roles in plays, and she played basketball and tennis. Gladys
initially taught in the country schools near Armour, SD. During World War II, while on summer break
from teaching, she and her sister traveled to Bremerton, Washington to work in the Bremerton Navy
In 1946, Gladys married Roy Martin Wilson of Plankinton, South Dakota. As a wife of a farmer and
rancher, a whole new life opened up for her, as she liked to say, “I was a city girl” growing up. Together,
Roy and Gladys had three children, Gene, Cheryl and Rodney.
In 1957, Gladys returned to teaching, initially in a country school and then entered the public school
systems in Tripp, Wagner and Gregory, South Dakota. During her 40 year teaching career she touched
the lives of well over 1200 children and loved her chosen vocation with all her heart and soul. Gladys
was very active in the local, state and National Education Associations and was elected several times as
a delegate to the National Education Association delegation. In addition, she received the Rural School
Teacher Award, The Laubach Literacy Action Tutor Award, and the Southern State College Recognition
for Supervision of Student teachers and was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta Educational Sorority and
the VFW Auxiliary.
As if teaching during the school year was not enough for Gladys, she also taught Sunday school, summer
school, served as a Cub Scouts Den Mother for her sons and coached her daughter’s softball team.
Gladys was a devout member of the Lutheran church all her life.
In 1975, Gladys married Frank Pejsa. Together, they enjoyed many years traveling, playing cards with
friends, pheasant hunting, and going to dances, as Frank played the drums in a Polka band.
In 1987, she retired, but never missed an occasion to “teach”; as she continued to take the opportunity
to teach her grandchildren and great grandchildren and instill in them, the power of learning!
In 1989, Gladys bought a vacation home at Dana’s Court in Arizona, where she spent her winters for 26
years and enjoyed some of the happiest years of her life seeing her “snow bird” friends from all the cold
states and Canada. These friendships brought a lot of joy to Gladys as everyone was always so happy to
see what new colorful outfits she would be wearing with her matching jewelry. Gladys would go out of
her way to bring people together to visit, play card games and shuffle board and go to the “Hall” for
Bingo, music night and of course Holiday Dinners with over 100 retired people enjoying home cooked potluck turkey and ham dinners with all the fixings. And, let’s not forget the flea markets and garage sales where she would buy toys and bicycles to have for her son Rodney’s kids, Jack and Olivia visits
from California. Olivia learned to ride a bike for the first time on gramma’s street as Jack played with the
hand me down toy trucks and cars. While in Arizona, Gladys was also able to enjoy 12 years living near
her granddaughter, Christine and was thrilled to be present at the birth of her second great grandchild,
Christine and Gary’s daughter, Kinsley. Christine spent many weekends with her Gramma bringing
Kinsley to visit and making sure Gramma’s new To-Do list was completed. Everyday Gladys had to get
things done and that is probably why she lived such a long and full life.
In 2016, Gladys moved to a senior living community in Minnesota to be near her daughter’s family.
While living there, she took part in numerous social gatherings and made several new friends. As a
parting gift, they had a party for her and asked her to share her memories of The Depression and the
Dirty 30’s, as they laughed and told her, “You are the only one old enough to have lived in that era!”
In 2020, Gladys moved again, as her daughter and son-in-law and their children’s families decided they
had enough of the cold weather and relocated to the Charlotte, NC. She enjoyed almost two years living
in an active senior living apartment complex where she could exercise daily, attend the many social
events and enjoy the daily afternoon “chit chat” gatherings. All her life, she remained active and
involved in all life had to offer. She enjoyed watching baseball and basketball, reading and doing arts
and crafts. Gladys was an avid painter and leaves behind several oil and watercolor paintings for her
family to enjoy. Throughout her life, Gladys made enduring friendships where ever she called home.
One of her last memorable and beautiful moments after her 98th birthday was to re-dedicate her life to
her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with communion, prayer of salvation and water baptism. She is now
enjoying her new home in Heaven with Jesus.
Gladys was preceded in death by her husbands, Roy Martin Wilson and Frank Pejsa; parents, George and Dena Krull; and her sister, Caroline (Krull)
Nevins. Gladys is survived by her brother, Robert Krull and his wife Beverly (Sievert) Krull, her children,
son Gene Wilson, daughter, Cheryl and son-in-law Robert Kraft, and son, Rod Wilson; grandchildren,
Christine (Kraft) Leavitt and husband, Gary Leavitt, Brooke (Wilson) Vandeberg and husband, Kasey
Vandeberg, Robert Kraft II and wife, Maureen (Reilly) Kraft, Olivia Wilson and Jack Wilson; great
grandchildren, Thomas Vandeberg, Kinsley Leavitt, Harper Vandeberg, Kennedy Leavitt, William
Vandeberg and Robert Kraft III.
Gladys’ remains will be buried in the family plot at Graceland Cemetery, Corsica, South Dakota.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at The Charlotte Assisted Living facility for the
outstanding care provided to their mother over the last few months and to the Hospice & Palliative Care
Charlotte staff for their excellent and heartwarming care.
Memorial Services will be held Monday, November 8 2021 at 1:30pm at the Benson Funeral and
Cremation, 101 Oak Grove St, Mt. Holly, NC 28120 with Pastor Brad Lowe officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St Jude Childrens.
Monday, November 8, 2021
Starts at 1:30pm (Eastern time)
Benson Funeral & Cremation Services
Monday, November 8, 2021
Starts at 1:30pm (Eastern time)
Benson Funeral & Cremation
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