Gladys Smith

Obituary of Gladys Smith

The beautiful soul of Gladys Ann Niven Smith, 82, of Twin Falls, ID, left this world peacefully in her sleep the morning of January 19th, 2021. As was her life long desire, she is now home, singing praises to her Lord and Savior. Gladys was born at Fort Bragg, N.C. to Julius J. Niven and Gladys Buffkin Niven. As a self proclaimed “army brat”, Gladys spent her early years traveling from place to place. She received her high school education while stationed in Germany, where she met her 1st husband Ellery Summer. The couple married in 1956; a union which resulted in 6 children. When their service ended, the young family settled in Jerome, ID where Gladys was an active church member and homemaker. After the couple divorced, Gladys moved to Twin Falls, ID where she worked at multiple waitressing jobs. Her beautiful smile, dedication, and sunny personality led to her becoming the highest paid waitress in the area. Her jobs included stints at The Depot Grill, La Casita, Landmark, Norm’s Cafe, and even the Grand Opening Night at the Turf Club. Gladys also stayed busy raising her 3 daughters, exercising her skills as a talented seamstress by sewing most of their clothing during their early years. From 1986-1990, Gladys and her daughter Becky worked together running a home interior design and painting business. As a true artist, Gladys could create something beautiful, from nothing more than an idea and a bucket of mud. She was a hard worker who could always find a way to make ends meet, providing for her children, and later, her grandchildren, through this hard work and exceptional bartering skills. Gladys met the true love of her life, J. Donald Smith at Norm’s Cafe through the persuasion of several mutual friends. The soul mates married in 1984 and soon afterward, Gladys began her business “Gladys’ Porcelain Dolls.” She enjoyed many hours creating these beautiful dolls with her best girl-friend in life, Joan Burgess. She gifted her grandchildren and friends with beautiful treasures of her own making and design in the form of oil paintings, dolls, tea sets, and quilts made specially for them. Don and Gladys enjoyed camping and spending time with friends and family. At their cabin at Murphy’s Hot Springs, Gladys enjoyed cutting and bringing in firewood and teaching her grandkids how to play Hollywood Rummy. (Then swearing to them that penny buy-in games did not qualify as actual gambling. We know what you were up to Grandma!!) Gladys was a life-time Christian dedicating her spare time to her church families in the Twin Falls area. She was never afraid to share her faith in the Lord with others, and always ended her time with everyone by saying, “God Bless You!” She was a joyful person who never met a stranger and thus, was well known and well loved. Gladys was a force to be reckoned with, while also being welcoming and gracious; a woman of many talents and skills, the best of which was her ability to make all of those around her feel loved. Mom will be greatly missed. Gladys is survived by her husband Don, brother Julius (Sylvia) Niven, her sons Ellery, Jay, Scott (Charlotte) Summer; her daughters Debbie (Russell) Larson, Becky Allred, Suzi Summer; stepchildren: sons-in-law Rick Suyehira and Brent Bronson; son Scott (Mia) Doron; daughter Kathy (Brian) Jost; 13 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. In keeping with her giving spirit, Gladys had desired to donate her body to science. She wanted to help find a cure for Parkinson’s and a treatment for Post-Polio Syndrome. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, this option was not available to her. For this reason, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to qualified research facilities working in the above specified fields. Some suggestions are; The Parkinson’s Foundation at, or the National Organization for Rare Disorders at A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 26th at 2:00 at the Faith Assembly of God, 178 Filer Ave W, Twin Falls. Masks will be required. The service will be live-streamed on the Faith Assembly of God Twin Falls Facebook page for those unable to attend in person. Arrangements are under the direction of Rosenau Funeral Home.
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Memorial Service

2:00 pm
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Faith Assembly of God Church
178 Filer Ave W
Twin Falls, Idaho, United States