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Gladys Joan Black

Lowell, AR, 1929 - 2022

Gladys Joan Black, 92, of Lowell, Ark., passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at the Willard Walker Hospice Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
Gladys was born on May 12.1927, in Richmond, Wis., to the late Edward Kitzman and Anna (Maas) Kitzman. On October 4, 1952, Gladys married John Mark Black and he preceded her in death on June 21, 2013. Her ancestral roots were from Ireland and she kept in touch with her relatives for over 20 years.
Gladys grew up on a farm in Clinton, Wis., and in 1980 moved to Lowell, Ark. with her husband. She was an incessant worker, feisty, full of energy, fiercely independent and loyal to friends and family. Gladys and her husband believed in hard work and taught their daughters the importance of a hard work ethic. In fact, at age 85, on a hot summer day, her daughter came over and found Gladys with a chainsaw in hand, cutting down a large magnolia tree! She was the epitome of the energizer bunny, even in her 90s.
Gladys loved adventure and travel, so every year, with her husband and two daughters, they would take off on another vacation traveling all over the U.S. and thus instilled wonder, adventure and a love for travel into her daughters. Gladys loved the outdoors and often took off on her own exploring mountain tops and foreign countries with zeal and energy. She traveled to Tahiti, Bolivia, France, Israel, Egypt, Switzerland, China, Norway, Sweden, and several Caribbean Islands during the last half of her life.
Gladys grew up as a Lutheran and remained a loyal member of Salem Lutheran Church in Springdale for over 30 years.
She developed Alzheimer five years ago and was forced to leave her home on Beaver Lake for assisted living in Springdale. She loved to dance and thoroughly enjoyed going to the Springdale Senior Center every Thursday morning with Colleen and Barry. She also danced in the streets of China along with the locals.
Gladys is remembered for her hard work and her extraordinary homemade pies and Christmas cookies that rarely lasted for more than a few days.
Gladys is survived by her two daughters, Colleen Brown and husband, Barry, and Rita Roberts and husband, Brent, who share the wonderful memories of their mother; a granddaughter, Madison, who is presently a senior at NWACC, loved to sit in "Grandma and Grandpa's" lap while growing up; a sister, Mary Young of Sharon, Wis.
Gladys is preceded in death by her parents; husband; sisters, Doris, Beatty, Barbara; and brothers, Glenn and Ronnie.
Graveside services will be held at the Salem Lutheran Cemetery in Springdale, Ark., on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 2 p.m., with Pastor Mark Krause officiating. Backstrom~Pyeatte Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. To sign online guestbook please go to

Published January 21, 2022

Backstrom-Pyeatte Funeral Home
2230 North Thompson Street, P.O. Box 6294, Springdale, AR
Phone: 479-756-2010