PAOLA, Kan. Gladys Rand, 99, passed away peacefully May 30, 2019, at Vintage Park in Paola.
Born to Louis and Helen Brand in Beagle, Kansas, on Jan. 27, 1920, Gladys grew up on the family farm with her older brother Charles, along with aunts, uncles and cousins from neighboring farms.
Gladys graduated from Paola High School in 1938 and attended Lawrence Business College before returning to Paola to work for the Miami County Superintendent of Schools. At that time there were 103 one-room schoolhouses in Miami County.
In 1941 she started to work in the office of the Miami County Attorney.
She married John Floyd Rand on June 5, 1941, making their home in Paola. They became the loving parents of three children, Nancy, Bob and Judy.
Along with her sister-in-law, Thelma Rand, Gladys owned and operated the Investors Loan and Abstract Company on the Paola Square for several years, beginning in 1945.
Gladys and Floyd also operated Rands Electric Shop from a small shop at the back of their home property on South Silver Street, and later opened Rands Bait Shop.
In 1976 they built Rands Oil Company Convenience Store in Louisburg, with the first self-service gas station in Miami County.
In 1979 they opened Rands Short Stop, the first convenience store in Paola. Two years later they built Rands Convenience Store in Hillsdale which they operated for 17 years. They developed many friendships through their businesses and always appreciated the support of the local community.
Gladys always enjoyed business and finance, but her real joy came from her family and friends and from helping others. She was available to anyone, friend or stranger, who needed a helping hand or just someone to listen. She found time to be actively involved in many local organizations: the Miami County Diabetes Association, the Miami County Al-Anon group, in which she was one of the original organizers, and The Lighthouse Womens Group. She was a member of the Lighthouse Presbyterian Church, and a strong supporter of its Celebrate Recovery program. Gladys wanted it known that the program is for anyone with a hurt, habit or hang-up, and she found comfort knowing the program was reaching those in need.
Gladys was preceded in death by her husband Floyd in 1997.
She is survived by: her children, Nancy Churchman (Bill), Olathe, Kansas, Robert Rand (Julie), Louisburg, Kansas, and Judy Sickles (Bob), Vancouver, Washington; seven grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
On Gladys 90th birthday, family and friends came from all over the country to help her celebrate.
But she often said the highlight for her was later hosting a special dinner at her house for her seven grandchildren and their spouses and watching them all get reacquainted.
The family would like to thank the dedicated staff at Vintage Park for their excellent care. Gladys considered everyone there to be her second family.
Visitation will be 1 to 2 p.m. followed by a celebration of life 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019, at Dengel and Son Mortuary, 305 N Pearl St, Paola, KS 66071.
Memorials may be made to the Lighthouse Womens Bible Study; Miami County Diabetes Support Group, or Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care, in care of Dengel & Son Mortuary, Paola.
To leave a special message for the family online, please visit www.DengelMortuary.com 913-294-2372. As published in the Miami County Republic.