A Tribute to Gladys Lovell Sandefur


Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Natchitoches native John Sandefur, whose childhood was featured in the Natchitoches Times often in the 1950s and 60s. His mother, Gladys Lovell Sandefur kept a scrapbook with these items that he now shares with his grandchildren. Gladys passed away peacefully Feb. 7 2021, at her daughter Sandra’s home in Alabama after a loving visit with her granddaughter Rachel and two great-great granddaughters Haley and Lily.

Gladys Lovell Sandefur passed away peacefully in Phenix City, Ala., at the home of her daughter, Sandra (Richard) Sharbaugh, where Gladys had been living for the past two-and-a-half years.

Gladys Lovell Sandefur, the daughter of Emma Gross and Oscar Lovell, was born and raised in Phillips, Wis. She attended elementary and three years of high school in Phillips. The Lovell family then moved to Sturgeon Bay, Wis., where Gladys finished her senior year and graduated in 1943 from Sturgeon Bay High School.

After graduation Gladys worked at Miller’s Clothing House near the Salvation Army Red Shield Club in Sturgeon Bay. On her lunch break Gladys would often go to the Club and shoot pool, and on one such occasion she met a young sailor – Herschel Myron Sandefur – who had come from Louisiana to help sail a new ship for the Navy from the Sturgeon Bay shipyards to New Orleans. Gladys and Herschel married in October 1944 at the Salvation Army Red Shield Club. Gladys then moved to Bunkie and lived with Herschel’s mother Ludie Nugent Sandefur while he served time with the Navy in the Mediterranean and the Pacific during WWII. While in Bunkie, their daughter, Sandra Lee Sandefur, was born.

After the war ended, Gladys and Herschel moved to Bastrop where their son Herschel Myron Sandefur II was born. In 1950, they moved to Natchitoches where their son, John Richard Sandefur, was born.

Gladys joined her husband Herschel at the National Cemetery in Fayetteville with her ashes being interred with a family memorial service.